Cambodia’s football ambassadors are all set for their Russia 2018 adventure as they set off for the 6th Gazprom Football for Friendship International Programme on June 8.
Twelve-year-old Sengkea Sokheng and Makara Sok will be joined by youngsters from 210 countries and sports stars and celebrities in Moscow as preparations build and excitement grows towards next month’s World Cup finals.
Sokheng will play in midfield in the Gazprom Football for Friendship International Championship as 32 International Teams of Friendship meet on the pitch.
Sokheng, from Phnom Penh, currently plays for ISF Football Academy and has dreams of playing for the Cambodian national side. A Real Madrid fan, his hero is Cristiano Ronaldo.
A talented young midfielder, Sokheng believes it is important to promote friendship, equality and peace because he feels we need such positives for the world to be a better place.
Sokheng started playing football at the age of five, and has taken part in tournaments across the Kingdom, playing a pivotal role in his side’s numerous victories in under-10 and under-12 events.
At the F4F Programme in Russia, Sokheng will be accompanied by young journalist Sok Makara, who will cover the program’s local and global activities as part of the International Children’s Press Center.
As part of the Press Centre, the budding scribes will collect information, make reports, write news articles and prepare materials on the F4F Programme’s initiatives.
Fellow football fan Sok is also from Phnom Penh. Born in Kampong Speu province, Sok currently lives in the capital with his aunt and uncle, from whom he inherited his love of football. With the help of his uncle, Sok started football training at a young age. An avid supporter of Barcelona, his favourite player is Neymar.
Part of Team Angel Shark, Sokheng will take part in a three-day training camp in Moscow to help the players get used to Russian playing conditions and get plenty of practice with their teammates before the championship kicks off on June 12.
To highlight the environmental damage facing the planet, each team is named after an endangered animal, with Sokheng part of Team Angel Shark as a midfielder, alongside a goalkeeper from the US Virgin Islands, defenders from Libya and Sierra Leone, a fellow midfielder from Palestine and a forward from FranceEach International Team of Friendship will be trained by 14-16 year old young coaches from around the world.
The young footballers will also get to take part in workshops and sessions run by famous celebrities.
Sokheng and Sok will also participate in the Sixth Football for Friendship International Children’s Forum in Russia, which will give them the opportunity to meet fellow youngsters from around the world to share experiences, and discuss with famous footballers and journalists on how bets to promote the key values of the F4F Programme globally.
Famous athletes, journalists, and public figures who support the project are set to attend the International Children’s F4F Forum and provide their thoughts and inspiration to the young ambassdors.