The festival forms a central part of how the World Cup contributes to social development with FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke saying, “It’s something that’s worth repeating again and again. Football is more than just a game. It’s not all just about the FIFA World Cup Final”.
The participants at the Festival are chosen according to leadership potential and to the contributions they have made towards building a better future through football in their respective communities.
The projects they help to run are involved in a variety of social issues, from homelessness in the UK and landmines in Laos, to HIV/AIDS education in South Africa and responsible citizenship in Brazil.
During the festival, participants have the opportunity to share their work, play football and enjoy the World Cup together.
The festival programme will include cultural and educational activities for the delegations, culminating in a football tournament, where mixed teams will compete without referees. Any disagreements on the pitch will be resolved through dialogue.
In describing the festival and groups that attend, FIFA point out that “Football has become a vital instrument for hundreds of social development programmes around the world.
“These programmes are providing children and young people with valuable tools that make a difference to their lives, while contributing to positive social development on a global scale by addressing the most pressing issues in each community.”
In January, FIFA announced financial support of 1.05m USD for 2014, distributed among 26 community-based programmes in Brazil.
As an official event of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil the Festival is open to the public from from 7-10 July.
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