1,000 young people set for dream role in Russia.

1,000 young people set for dream role in Russia.

This article and photograph were lifted from the FIFA website.

Almost 1,000 children and young adults are set to play an integral role at the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 thanks to the FIFA Youth Programme.

Before all 16 matches during the two-week tournament, 62 youngsters will perform a range of roles including bearing the FIFA and National flags as well as escorting the players to the pitch. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get close to their heroes and be involved with the festivities in Russia.

Each of the kids involved, aged six to 17, will be chosen through various methods organised by Youth Programme sponsors Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, adidas and Kia. Some will come from local football teams, others will be winners of specific competitions while another group will be selected from local orphanages in the four host cities.

“The Youth Programme is an amazing opportunity to connect young fans to football and we make sure the kids taking part always have the best possible experience,” explained Jean-François Pathy, Director of Marketing Services at FIFA. “It is one of many great initiatives where FIFA works closely together with our Commercial Affiliates to bring the tournament to life for fans around the world.”

Excitement and interest is already sky-high ahead of the 17 June kick off, with sponsors already receiving hundreds of thousands of applications.

The participants in numbers

  • 352 McDonald’s Player Escorts
  • 224 Coca-Cola Ball Crew
  • 192 Coca-Cola National Flag Bearers
  • 96 adidas FIFA Fair Play Flag Bearers
  • 96 FIFA Flag Bearers
  • 16 Coca-Cola Coin Toss Kids
  • 16 Kia Official Match Ball Carriers

Now 19 years on from its first appearance at the 1998 FIFA World Cup France™, this year will see even more ways for kids to get involved with new programmes as well as a diversified selection of participants, including the inclusion of children in wheelchairs for the first time.

“For the upcoming FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 in Russia, FIFA has developed new elements to make the Youth Programme even more appealing and accessible,” continued Pathy, “such as the Official Ball Carrier and the re-introduction of the Coin Toss Kid. Who wouldn’t want to play a part in that?”

Each match will see a new squad of children take part, most of who will be from the local areas, to allow as many participants to leave the FIFA Confederations Cup with memories and souvenirs from the tournament that they will treasure for a lifetime.

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