The celebration was conducted in Sri Lanka for the first time, along with Dinuka Bandara and Mohamed Ayaan Sadath, the young ambassadors selected to represent the country at the F4F Programme in Russia.
The celebration was conducted at Colombo Race Course International stadium.
The young ambassadors from Sri Lanka will join the kids from across 211 countries and regions, in Moscow for the F4F Programme conducted between 8th June to 15thJune this year. Dinuka, selected in the role of a young footballer, will join other young footballers from around the world, in Moscow. The children will be a part of the 32 International Teams of Friendship that play against each other in the Gazprom Football for Friendship International Championship. He will be joined by Ayaan, who will act as a young journalist and cover all the local and global activities of the F4F program as part of the International Children's Press Center.
The International Day of Football and Friendship is celebrated by the participating countries, as a part of the F4F Programme. The day is celebrated along with the young ambassadors, who bind a blue-green Friendship bracelet to the attendees, as a symbol of this global initiative. The blue string of the bracelet symbolizes the peaceful sky, and the green string symbolizes the football field, accessible to everyone. On this day, the young ambassadors promote the key programme values (friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions and honour), among their peers.
Around the world, children, adults, personalities and football enthusiasts gathered to celebrate the International Day of Football and Friendship by conducting friendly matches, football tournaments, open trainings with star footballers, city holidays, sports events, media events and TV shows. The day, celebrated by cities around the world, has been supported by famous footballers, coaches, television hosts, actors and members of government agencies, all over the world
The International Day of Football and Friendship was celebrated by the Manchester Soccer Academy by conducting friendly football matches, for the GrassrootsUnder 8, Under 10, Under 13 and Under 16 players. The friendly matches were also participated by the Under 12 team of Henamulla Football Development Academy, a football academy from Colombo 15. The event also saw participants tie the blue-green Friendship bracelet to each other, in the presence of Hon Mohamed Faiszer Musthapha, Minister of Provincial Councils, Local Government and Sports, Mr. Chaminda Stainewall, Technical Director of Football Federation of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mohamed Akram, Member of Western Provincial Council, and Mr. Nevile Anthony, Veteran and Senior Sports Journalist of Sri Lanka, who were there to give their best wishes to the ambassadors for the programme in Russia.
Speaking on the celebration of the International Day of Football and Friendship, Mr. Muheed Jeeran, Director of International Affairs and Advisor to Manchester Soccer Academy said, “We are delighted to provide our support in the celebration of the International Day of Football and Friendship in Sri Lanka, as it is our constant endeavor to instill core human values among children. We also invited kids from Henamulla Football Development Academy, to mingle with the kids of our academy, and play football with them. Initiatives such as these, highlights the power of football in breaking barriers, uniting youngsters, encouraging solidarity, and creating a positive impact in the local community. We are glad to support our young ambassadors in their efforts to promote these key values, which the Manchester Soccer Academy strongly believes in”.