Dinuka Bandara and Ayaan Sadath 12 year old football enthusiasts from Sri Lanka have been selected as the country’s representatives at the global Football for Friendship (F4F) social programme. The F4F programme, supported by Gazprom and FIFA aims at developing youth football and a healthy lifestyle as well as promoting tolerance, open-mindedness and respect for different cultures and nationalities between children from across the globe.This year, the F4F programme has expanded to 211 countries and regions. Sri Lanka will participate in the programme for the first time.
Dinuka Bandara will join Young footballers from around the world in Moscow in June 2018. The children will be a part of the 32 International Teams of Friendship and play against each other in the Gazprom Football for Friendship International Championship. The friendly tournament aims to bring together children from around the world and celebrate the unifying spirit of football.
Ayaan Sadath will act as the young journalist and report on all the local and global activities of the F4F programme as part of the International Children’s Press Center. He will also spread awareness on the Nine Values (friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions and honour) of the F4F programme.
Dinuka Bandara and Ayaan Sadath, will also participate in the Football for Friendship International Children’s Forum in Russia, where the youngsters will get a chance to meet their peers from other countries, share their experiences, and discuss with famous footballers and journalists on how to promote key values of the F4F Programme around the world.
The sixth season of the F4F programme will conclude with a visit by the participating children to the opening ceremony and the first match of the FIFA World Cup 2018.
Speaking on the selection of the young ambassadors by Manchester Soccer Academy, MuheedJeeran (Director of International Affairs and Advisor) said,“The selection of the young ambassadors from Sri Lanka is an extension of our support to this unique global initiative. The programme is a wonderful opportunity for the ambassadors to build ties of friendship among children from around the world and foster peace and harmony through the beautiful game of football.We wish our young ambassadors all the best for the programme and look forward to their contribution in promoting the key values of the programme, in Russia, as well as in Sri Lanka”