Ananya Kamboj and Aahana Kamboj participated in Football for Friendship 2020

Ananya Kamboj and Aahana Kamboj participated in Football for Friendship 2020

Ananya Kamboj and Aahana Kamboj represented India at the Gazprom International Children's Social Programme Football for Friendship 2020 as a member of the International Expert Council and young journalist respectively.

The Eighth Season of the Gazprom International Children's Social Programme Football for Friendship has finished. This season, the first-ever Football for Friendship eWorld Championship united young athletes from 104 countries. Over 1 million people participated in the events of the Eighth Season.

“Uniting friends – uniting the world” is the slogan of the Gazprom International Children's Social Programme Football for Friendship. Participants of the programme are Young Players and Journalists aged 10-16. They become ambassadors of the key human values: friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions, and honour. FIFA, UEFA, national football associations, and the world's leading clubs support the programme. Roberto Carlos, World Cup winner and 3 times UEFA Champions League Winner, is the Global Ambassador of the programme.

This season, Young Participants held over 50 events with support of famous athletes, representatives of football academies, and journalists of the world's leading media. The children gained new knowledge about football strategy and tactics learned, new moves, and became hosts and correspondents during the events, talked about their ecological and social initiatives, participate in global discussions as part of the 75th anniversary of the UN.

A new free educational module in 10 languages was launched at the Football for Friendship Coaches Academy. To date, more than 5,000 coaches and physical education teachers from different countries have completed training at the Academy.

The final events of the season were held online. Over 100 football academies from all over the world presented their projects to support and train young athletes at the annual International Football for Friendship Forum. Projects from Bolivia, India, Nigeria, and Russia were recognized as the best.

Ananya, 16-year-old, is participating in Football for Friendship since 2017 and became F4F Award expert. She was a part of the jury during the International Football for Friendship Forum. All the projects were evaluated by the International Expert Council, which included world experts in the field of football education: Frank Ludolph, Germany, UEFA Head of Football Education Services, Head of the Expert Council of the 2020 International Football for Friendship Award; Pablo Cesar Torres, Uruguay, President of Youth Football and Scouting at Club Atlético Peñarol, Mike Puig, Spain, CEO of the Soccer Barcelona Youth Academy; and three Football for Friendship Young Ambassadors: Ananya Kamboj, India, Mohammad Yusuf Moazzam, Pakistan, and Sheqayli Ascencion, Aruba.

“The world is adjusting to a new reality that was unimaginable a few months ago. COVID-19 has altered every aspect of our lives, introducing abrupt changes to the way football clubs, associations, and communities operate. This event will help us better to understand how football and education initiatives scale and spread across communities and countries. Forum is the essence of Football for Friendship social programme and a perfect event for networking opportunities”, says Ananya Kamboj from India.

Young Participants from 104 countries were trained at the Nine Values School and voted for the most socially responsible football club in the world. The children decided that FC Barcelona should be awarded the Nine Values Cup in 2020.

Another Indian youngster is Aahana Kamboj. She is only 10 but she is quite passionate about TV reporting and sports. She became a Young Journalist of Football for Friendship this season and made different reports for the programme.

“The Nine Values of the program emphasize the importance of teaching human values to sustain in today's competitive world. It is necessary to have basic nine values in place that will make children responsible citizens in the future”, says Aahana Kamboj.

At the end of the season, the kids took part in the Football for Friendship eWorld Championship. The Granular Salamander team that untied young players from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Latvia, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Turkey became the winners of the Championship. The competition was organized on the platform of the new specially designed multiplayer football simulator Football for Friendship World (F4F World). Today, on World Football Day, a new mobile game has become available for download to everyone.

At the end of the 2020 season, Football for Friendship obtained the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the Most users on a football/soccer video hangout. A 2.5-hour master class with live video feeds from France, Brazil, Russia, Uruguay, Pakistan, Ireland, Cyprus, Peru, India, Guyana and Spain was organized for children from over 100 countries. The programme has previously obtained the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the Most nationalities in a football (soccer) training session in history.

About the programme:

The International Children's Social Programme Football for Friendship is implemented by Gazprom since 2013. Over the previous eighth seasons, the programme has united over 15 000 participants from 211 countries and regions and over 6 000 000 supporters.

Young Players and Young Journalists are the participants of the programme – boys and girls aged 12 including children with disabilities. Young Players represent different countries and cultures united in the mixed teams of the Football for Friendship World Championship. They show that nationality, gender, and physical abilities aren't a barrier to becoming a team. Young Journalists cover the events of the programme in the International Children's Press Centre. All participants become Young Ambassadors of the programme and continue to share their Football for Friendship experience and promote universal human values: friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions, and honour.

UEFA, FIFA, football federations and the world's leading football clubs, international charity foundations, famous athletes, politicians and artists support Football for Friendship. The project has received multiple national and international awards in the field of social responsibility, sports, and communications, including the two GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ titles.

Deepak Kamboj

Deepak Kamboj

Deepak Kamboj started and conceptualized the powerful interactive platform - in September 2002, which today is the biggest and most popular online community portal for Kambojas in the world. He was inspired by the social and community work carried out by his father Shri Nanak Chand Kamboj. He has done research on the history, social aspects, political growth and economical situation of the Kamboj community. Deepak Kamboj is an author of various articles about the history of Kamboj community and people.