Ittipolchana Kaewsawad and Preechayan Piyachatiwongs, 12 year old football enthusiasts from Thailand, have been selected as 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 of different cultures and nationalities between children from across the globe. Thailand joins the programme for the first time and will participate alongside 210 other countries and regions.
Ittipolchana 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.
Preechayan 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.
Ittipolchana and Preechayan will also participate in the Sixth Football for Friendship International Children's Forum in Russia, which will allow youngsters 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
A sports enthusiast, Ittipolchana started playing football at the age of 5. Ittipolchana has participated in football tournaments across the country and was named the best player of the year of his school football team for 6 consecutive years. He currently plays for his school team, AFA Ascot, and dreams to play for a professional football club in the future. This talented, young footballer believes it is important to promote friendship, equality and peace because he believes that we need each of these three things to brighten our world.
Preechayan is a football enthusiast who likes to read and research about sports. A firm believer in the power of friendship, he believes that everyone should help one another and respect each other regardless of one’s ethnicity, gender, religion and status.
Speaking on the selection of the young ambassadors by the Football Association of Thailand, International Relation Officer Mr. Parkpoom Potivetgul said, “The selection of the young ambassadors from Thailand 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 Thailand”
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.