Victorians heading to Russia for Football for Friendship tournament

Luca Durso & Noah Borg to represent Australia at the F4F World Championships

The 2018 Football for Friendship (F4F) programme is transforming a FIFA World Cup dream into reality for two Victorian youngsters, Luca Durso and Noah Borg who have been selected to fly to Russia on an all expenses paid trip to represent Australia at the F4F programme.

Taking place in Moscow, Russia on 8-15 June ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, F4F is an annual International Children’s social programme organized by Gazprom, an international company supporting global social projects and setting new standards in relation to social policy. The aim of the programme is to promote essential values embodied by football with the younger generation such as respect for other cultures and nationalities as well as equality.

Luca Durso will represent Australia as a Player while Noah Borg will attend as a Young Journalist, giving the country even more presence ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.They will join other 12-year-old football players and journalists from 211 countries and regions to participate in the 8-day programme.

“I am passionate about football and would love to play for the Socceroos one day. It is a dream to represent Australia and visit Russia to see the World Cup,” said Durso.

Meanwhile, Borg said: “The nine values of the program - friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions and honour - mean a lot to me. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you can do, we are all equal and we should treat everyone the same and with respect.”

This opportunity is the result of the terrific ongoing football partnership with Football For Friendship (RUS) and Lengo Football Academy (AUS).

Lengo Football Academy Chairperson Roxanne Strauss is delighted that Australia will be represented at the Football for Friendship in Russia.

"In 2017 a delegation from Lengo Football Academy represented Tanzania at the Football for Friendship program in St Petersburg as part of the Confederations Cup. This year Lengo Football Academy are privileged to be partnering with Football for Friendship and the Reagan Milstein Foundation to enable 12 countries to attend the program in Russia that forms part of the World Cup celebrations. Through these partnerships we are proud to be supporting young people from all over the world to score goals on and off the football field."

BACKGROUND

Since 2013, PJSC Gazprom has been organizing the International Children’s social programme Football for Friendship. The key values promoted by the programme participants include friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, tradition and honour. The participants are Young Players (girls and boys, including those physically challenged), as well as Young Journalists covering the F4F events within the framework of the The Football for Friendship International Children’s Press Center. Geographical scope of the programme expand annually: from 8 countries in 2013 to 211 countries in 2018. For the past five years, more than 3,700 people have participated in the programme. Football for Friendship is supported by FIFA, UEFA, International Olympic Committee, football federations of various countries, international children's charity funds, and world's leading football clubs.

32 International Teams of Friendship were formed during the Open Draw, as well as playing roles for each Young Player from each country (goalkeeper, defender, midfielder or forward) were determined. After definition of the roles for the Young Players, their coaches will be selected this way: 19 countries which will represent the Young Coaches were defined in an unpredictable manner as a result of an Open Draw, 11 coaches will be chosen from the cities hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, 2 Young Coaches will be selected from the best participants of the previous seasons of the Football for Friendship programme.

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