OREANDA-NEWS. Gazprom, the official sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, has doubled the number of countries participating in the Football for Friendship international children's social project for 2014. This year, players from youth football teams aged 12 to 14 will participate in the project, representing 16 countries: Belorussia, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, and UK.

The Football for Friendship project is being implemented within a framework of the Gazprom for Children social program. Its major goal is to develop younger generations' critical values: respect for other cultures and nationalities, equality, as well as stimulating their interest in healthy lifestyles, by encouraging children and teenagers to participate in sport.

“Our Football for Friendship global initiative, as part of a wider series of social project from Gazprom, is aimed at helping to educate younger generations in the spirit of mutual respect. The company's programs aim to raise healthy children, and encourage sportsmanship and respect among peers. We believe that Football for Friendship has already begun to encourage the development of these principles amongst children worldwide“, said Alexey Miller, Chairman of Gazprom's Management Committee.

This year, the key event of the Football for Friendship project will be the second International Forum of Child Football Teams to be held in Lisbon on May 23–25 2014, to coincide with the final match of 2013/2014 UEFA Champions League. On completion of the Forum, young delegates will attend a final game at the Estбdio da Luz.

The Forum will be conducted under the auspices of the world football star Franz Beckenbauer. Delegates from 16 countries will gather to discuss tools for effective promotion of the Football for Friendship key principles, such as: traditions, peace, friendship, victory, health, equality, fair play and devotion.

 “The results of last year's Football for Friendship project emphasized the importance of bringing together children who are passionate about football to promote sport and strong moral values. This is further validated by the number of countries participating in the Football for Friendship which has doubled this year. We can see that children, who attended last year's Forum in London, have turned out to be ambassadors of tolerance, equality and healthy lifestyles. It means that thanks to football the world can really become a little kinder, healthier and more tolerant. We'll do our best to continue these values together with young athletes participating in the project,” said Franz Beckenbauer.


Gazprom is a global energy company. Its major business lines are geological exploration, production, transportation, storage, processing and sales of gas, gas condensate and oil, sales of gas as a vehicle fuel as well as generation and marketing of heat and electric power.
Gazprom views its mission in reliable, efficient and balanced supply of natural gas, other energy resources and their derivatives to consumers. The company holds leading positions in Russian power energy sector and is one of the largest Russian oil producers.
Gazprom holds the world's largest natural gas reserves. Its share in the global and Russian gas reserves makes up 17 and 72 per cent respectively. Gazprom accounts for 13 and 73 per cent of the global and Russian gas output accordingly. At present, the Company actively implements large-scale projects aimed at exploiting gas resources of the Yamal Peninsula, Arctic Shelf, Eastern Siberia and the Far East, as well as hydrocarbons exploration and production projects abroad.
Together with active business development, Gazprom pays much attention to social projects. In particular, the company provides support to a number of sports organizations and events of both international and global scale. Gazprom is the official partner of UEFA Champions League, offering support to the UEFA Super Cup, as well as a whole range of world famous football clubs – German Schalke 04, UK Chelsea and Serbian Crvena Zvezda.
Gazprom is a permanent sponsor of FC Zenit, hockey clubs SKA (St. Petersburg) and Avangard (Omsk region), Zenit-Kazan volleyball club, St. Petersburg Open tournament. The company annually co-finances Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics, volleyball, chess, biathlon and other sports competitions. In its operation areas Gazprom on a regular basis conducts adult and child Spartakiads.
Gazprom for Children program is the Company's largest social project. The program is primarily targeted at creating the environment for harmonious spiritual and physical development of children and teenagers, and helping them to discover and implement their potential.
The program embraces 73 Russian regions. 45 Gazprom subsidiaries and organizations take part in the program as well as 50 regional gas companies forming part of Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Group. In 2007–2013, the Program's budget was 26,9 bln. rubles. These funds, in particular, have already been used for construction and reconstruction of more than 1000 sports facilities. Moreover, within the framework of the Program, Gazprom has been engaging coaches and teachers, providing sports departments and activity groups with required equipment, conducting festivals and sport events.
Football for Friendship international children's social project has been implemented by Gazprom within its Gazprom for Children social program.
Football for Friendship annual international children's forum is the major event of the project. The first Forum was held on May 25, 2013 in London, during which its delegates from 8 European countries (Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia and UK) prepared Open Letter with the key principles of the project: traditions, peace, friendship, victory, health, equality, fair play and devotion. The letter was signed by the representative of each country, and the project's Global Ambassador Franz Beckenbauer. The document was sent to Joseph Blatter, President of the International Football Federation (FIFA), Michel Platini, President of the European Football Association Union (UEFA) and Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee. In September 2013, project participants had a meeting with Joseph Blatter, who confirmed the receipt of the letter, saying he was proud to be one of the people it had been addressed to.