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World Cup

Memorable experience for young Malaysian duo

11:23 AM IST 26/06/18
F4F Malaysia
The F4F program gave 2 young Malaysians a rare opportunity to meet new friends from all over the world as well as catching in precious WC2018 action.

Football for Friendship (F4F) is an international children’s social program that was held in Moscow, Russia in the run-up to the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Amongst the participants in the program were two very lucky young Malaysians.

While most adults who reach a certain stage of their life are still wishing and dreaming that they are able to witness a match in the World Cup, Imran Zakaria and Lauren Hoh who are 16 and 12 respectively can already say that they have done that.

Of course being able to witness the opening match of the World Cup will be an abiding memory for all time but the duo were in Moscow for more than just being spectator.

The F4F program saw participants from over 211 countries all around the world and it represents a great opportunity for children to meet and mingle with peers different personality and characters from various backgrounds.

Thus, within the framework of the three-day International Friendship Camp the sports trainings and practical master classes with the football world stars and professional coaches will be organized for the Young Players, Young Journalists and Young Trainers of the program.

Within the social section of the educational agenda, the children will be addressed by the public figures, representatives of the funds for protection of the nature, the journalists of the leading Russian and foreign media shared their experience with the young talents of the Football for Friendship International Children's Press сentre.

Imram who plays for a local football club based in Subang Jaya call First 11 was selected by Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to be one of the young coach for the F4F and he recalls the wonderful time he had in Moscow.

"It's very hard because 12-year-olds like to do what they want. But luckily I've got a group together with me who helped with a lot of things. It was very exciting and I'm the first from my family to be able to go to Russia. 

"The opening ceremony and watching the first game was a memorable experience. It was loud and joyful with everyone cheering," Imran told Goal.

Meanwhile for Lauren who was also selected by FAM to join the program managed to take in the wonderful atmosphere that always surrounds a World Cup and vows to not let Russia 2018 be her one and only time at the biggest football tournament in the world. 

"The opening ceremony and the first match was my best time there, because it's the World Cup. We watched Russia versus Saudi and it was really good. Even on the streets, there were lots of football fans singing and dancing. The Peru fans especially were the ones that really caught the eye."

"I've learnt a lot about friendship and teamwork, how we need to work as a team to succeed. It was amazing sharing the experience with over 200 kids from all over the world," said Lauren.