Rigzin Sonam Tenzin and Kinley Deki Yangzom will represent Bhutan in Gazprom’s Football for Friendship (F4F) in Moscow, Russia on June 12 this year. This will be Bhutan’s first ever participation in the event.
Rigzin, an 11 year old student studying in class five in Loselling Middle Secondary School, Thimphu was chosen out of twenty under 15 national players during a lucky dip draw.
“I have never thought that one day I will be going to Russia and represent my country. It came with surprise and mix-emotions as I was not able to express how I felt,” Rigzin said.
He said he was very lucky but now he is preparing physically and mentally for the event. “I will give 100 percent in the tournament.”
However, his friend Kinley Deki Yangzom had to win the open selection process set by the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) to win the spot. Kinley is from Lobesa, Punakha and currently studying in class seven in Lobesa Lower Secondary School.
In a telephonic conservation, 12 year old Kinley said that she was shocked as there were many competitors better than her. “Maybe it was my day to celebrate the moment and yes, I am feeling very excited as well.”
“I am very proud to represent my country at the international level.”
Meanwhile, BFF’s General Secretary, Ugyen Wangchhuk said that the 6th Gazprom F4F being held in collaboration with FIFA is an event that brings together children from 211 countries and regions.
“We are delighted to support the programme and we look forward to these young children becoming a part of a global movement of football for peace,” he added
The Sixth Season of the Gazprom’s Football for Friendship (F4F) International Children’s Social Project was launched in Bhutan for the first time with the overall goal to involve the young generation throughout the world in promoting the most important human values among their peers – friendship, equality, peace and respect for different cultures and nationalities.
The program has expanded from 64 countries in 2017 to 211 countries and regions in 2018. 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. These 32 teams will compete at the Football for Friendship World Championship on 12 June 2018.
As per the Open Draw, Rigzin Sonam Tenzin will play as a “forward” in the International Team of Friendship were as Kinley Deki Yangzom will represent Bhutan as a young journalist.
The final events of the season will be held in Moscow, Russia from 8-15 June 2018.
As an ecological initiative of Football for Friendship all the 32 International Teams of Friendship is named after endangered animals of all the continents of the world.
“The 6th season of the International children’s social programme Football for Friendship is officially open. This year, F4F is supported by 211 countries and regions! For the very first time, young athletes from all parts of the world where football is played will meet on the same field. We live in an age where people all over the world seek to unite behind the principles of equality and respect for each other. The project is a crucial element in this process. Football for Friendship gives that opportunity to everyone,” notes Viktor Zubkov. Chairman of the Board of Directors of PJSC Gazprom.
More than 5000 media from around the world will cover the programme events, as well as the F4F International Children’s Press Center, consisting of young 12-year-old journalists from 211 countries and regions. National selections of participants who will become Young Ambassadors of peace, friendship and equality in their countries have started all over the world.
“We were glad to support this unique initiative from our FIFA partner Gazprom,” said Fatma Samoura, FIFA Secretary General. “The forum is a perfect example of how football can be used to open doors for girls and boys from all backgrounds, a mission that FIFA supports actively.”
During the International Friendship Camp, Young Players under the guidance of Young Coaches and under the supervision of famous players will be learning of F4F key values in the Nine Values School. The UN considers this initiative as a unique educational programme.
Gazprom is the official partner of FIFA and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.