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Nikki Little's Road To Russia

Nikki Little's Road To Russia

Gazprom Football for Friendship 2018 paves road to Russia for two Aussie kids​


Australia, 24 April 2018 – The 2018 Football for Friendship (F4F) programme is transforming a FIFA World Cup dream into reality for two Aussie youngsters, Luca Selby Durso and Noah Borg who have been selected to fly to Russia on an all expenses paid trip to represent Australia at the F4F programme.

Taking place in Moscow, Russia on 8-15 June ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, F4F is an annual International Children's social programme organized by Gazprom, an international company supporting global social projects and setting new standards in relation to social policy. The aim of the programme is to promote essential values embodied by football with the younger generation such as respect for other cultures and nationalities as well as equality.

Selby Durso will represent Australia as a Player while Noah Borg will attend as a Young Journalist, giving the country even more presence ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.They will join other 12-year-old football players and journalists from 211 countries and regions to participate in the 8-day programme.

"I am passionate about football and would love to play for the Socceroos one day. It is a dream to represent Australia and visit Russia to see the World Cup," said Durso.

Meanwhile, Borg said: "The nine values of the program - friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions and honour - mean a lot to me. It doesn't matter where you come from or what you can do, we are all equal and we should treat everyone the same and with respect."

A total of 32 International Teams of Friendship will compete at the Football for Friendship World Championship on 12 June 2018. In the days leading up to the tournament, each player will be trained by Young Coaches who are football players ranging between 14 to 16 years of age from various countries. The Championship and training sessions will form the majority of the programme in addition to the Sixth International Football for Friendship Children's Forum. The forum will see participants discussing how to promote the programme's core values of friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions and honour. The programme concludes with all F4F participants attending the opening match of the FIFA World Cup on 14 June 2018 as hosts Russia take on Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Football for Friendship is supported by FIFA, UEFA, the International Olympic Committee and football federations and leading clubs around the world. More than 5,000 media outlets worldwide will cover the programme, which is considered a unique educational programme by the United Nations.

Keep up to date with the journey by following the Earth is a ball blog at




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.

Official resources of the programme:

F4F Photo and video materials: 

F4F Facebook:

F4F Youtube:

F4F Instagram:

F4F Twitter:

F4F website:

Media contact:

Anthony Grima
0466 208 213