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"Football for Peace" Program in Russia

Russia-2018-05-19-A ‘Feel-Good’ Football Tournament among Neighbors

Lyubertsy, Russia—A “Play Football for Peace” initiative brought together about 30 football enthusiasts for a courtyard tournament.

The football festival for residents of Lyubertsy, a city adjoining Moscow, was held in the city’s Airplane microdistrict on May 19, 2018. Play Football for Peace was last year's winner in the governor's Our Moscow Region contest of social projects.

The tournament was held with the support of the Lyubertsy administration and the Airplane Service management company.

Despite rainy weather, all the participants gathered on the football grounds for the grand opening of the tournament. By drawing lots, the participants broke up into five teams and on a circular system played 10 exciting games.

An interesting feature of such courtyard tournaments is that the teams are formed on the spot, before the start of the tournament. Neighbors or longtime acquaintances often find themselves on different teams. All this contributes to new acquaintances and creates an atmosphere of neighborliness.

Courtyard tournaments appeal to fans. Relatives and close friends of players come to watch, together with their children, and their presence ensures a family atmosphere.

Despite the rainy weather, all the teams showed a strong desire for victory. Games were played brightly and passionately, but correctly, bearing in mind the motto of the tournament: "Play football for peace and friendship." According to eyewitnesses, the tournament should continue good traditions in Lyubertsy.

The winner of the tournament was the Rocket team; the silver medal was taken by the Real team; and the bronze by the Phoenix team.

The organizer of the tournament, Dmitry Samko, the secretary general of UPF-Moscow, said: "The important result was not scored goals and medals received, but friendship and sport solidarity of the residents who enthusiastically wanted to inspire the younger generation and by their personal example lead other people to participate in sports."

The Moscow Region news website RIAMO published an article about this event.

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