Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) is set to send two students for the sixth season of Football for Friendship (F4F), the international children’s’ social programme in Moscow, Russia from June 8-15.

Gazprom Company, the official partner of FIFA and World Cup Russia 2018 is organising the event. The event is aimed at involving the young generation across the globe in promoting human values of friendship, equality, peace, and respect for different culture and nationalities. Since it began in 2013, the global children project will for the first time see children from 211 countries this year.

Gazprom officially announced the opening of the sixth season of F4F on April 2. This is the first project for Bhutan and has Rigzin Sonam Tenzin, 12, from Samtse to represent the country. He was selected among more than 15 students who came for the selection.

The F4F open draw was held in Moscow on February 15. A press release from Gazprom stated that the program has expanded from 64 countries in 2017 to 211 countries and regions this year.

“32 international teams of friendship were formed during the open draw, and the playing roles for each young player from each country were determined. These 32 teams will compete at the F4F world championship on June 12.”

As per the draw, the young player from Bhutan will play as a forward in the international team of friendship. The final event will be held from June 8 -15, coinciding with the opening of World Cup Russia 2018.

“The teams are organised using the “football for friendship” principle – athletes of different nationalities, different genders and different physical abilities to play in one team. Age of players is 12,” the press release states.

BFFs’ general secretary Ugyen Wangchuk told the organiser that the federation was delighted to support the programme. “We look forward to these young children becoming a part of a global movement of football for peace.”

As an ecological initiative of F4F, all 32 international teams of friendship were named after endangered animals.

Bhutan is grouped under team King Cobra, a vulnerable species, along with the young players from the Netherlands, Montenegro, Djibouti, Guam, and Namibia.

The young player would also be involved in the international F4F children’s forum, which will discuss ways of promoting the programmes’ key values.

The event would also see 211 young journalists from across the globe reporting the programme from F4F international children’ press center.

Kinley Deki Yangzom, 12, from Lobesa Middle Secondary School will represent the country at the event. More than 5,000 media personnel are expected to cover the event.