Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa on Wednesday evening flagged off two teenagers who will represent the country in the sixth edition of the Football for Friendship (F4F) tournament that will precede the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia.
Terming them as the ‘only Kenyans’ at the World Cup, Echesa urged Jadidi Ndakumbi and Myles Muriuki to be good ambassadors of the country at the World Cup.
“It is unfortunate that I am only meeting you guys this late, I could have loved to have a conversation with you early enough,” Echesa while handing over the flag to the 12-year-olds stated who will leave for Moscow on Thursday night.
“As a country, we need to have structures that will ensure, the national teams performed better at all age groups,” the head of the Sports Ministry flanked by Gatundu South Member of National Assembly Moses Kuria offered.
In the meantime, Jadidi has been drawn in the team ‘Komodo Dragons’ and will be joined by a young footballer from Brazil, Wales, Dominican Republic, Guinea Bissau and Philippines in the tourney that will be played in around robin format.
Jadidi who wants to be a professional football player and whose role model is Belgium’s Heden Hazard says he can’t wait to get to Moscow to showcase his abilities on the field, together with other equally talented juniors. “I am extremely happy to be part of the of F4F, and of course the opportunity to meet and play with my new teammates. The paring of the teams is in line with the core values of the tournament which includes, making friendship, promoting equality, peace and respect for different cultures and traditions,” Jadidi who is full sponsored by oil merchants Gazprom, official partner of FIFA and the World Cup, told Capital Fm.
Myles, who will travel as a young Journalist says he was intrigued by the professional at a tender age after his father bought him a camera, who has been handy in telling his story and also that of his peers at school.
“I believe as a journalist, nothing will be suppressed. I want the whole world to know what is happening, In Russia, I will highlight Jadidi’s progress,” Myles said.
F4F is supported by 211 countries and regions. For the very first time, young athletes from all parts of the world where football is played will meet on the same field. The tournament will bring together 32 International Teams of Friendship athletes of different nationalities, different genders and different physical abilities to play in one team.
The age of players is 12. Each International mixed Team of Friendship will be trained by Young Coaches – football players of 14-16years from different countries.
The tournament will run from 8-15 June 2018 and the youngsters will also have the opportunity to watch the opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the first match pitting host Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki, Stadium in Moscow.
This article was first posted on Capital Sports and written by Amos Abuga.