MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. A schoolteacher from India and her son won FIFA’s ‘Bring Someone Special’ campaign to earn free travel and tickets for the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the Russian capital of Moscow, the world’s governing football body announced in its statement on Monday.
FIFA’s ‘Bring Someone Special’ campaign was launched during the 2017 Confederations Cup and encouraged football fans around the globe to share stories online, using 350 characters only, about who would they like to bring along to the opening match of the next year’s championship in Moscow and why.
The idea of the campaign was that football fans would share their emotions and feelings about the sport of football and have a chance of winning not only free tickets for the opening match, but travel and accommodation as well.
According to the FIFA statement on Monday, "The campaign generated more than 24 million impressions across all digital touchpoints and over 13,000 submissions were received from a total of 158 countries across the globe, from which the best two stories would be chosen."
While the winners of the second best story are yet to be announced, the first winner is Adityanshu, a boy from India’s northeastern Muzaffarpur district, who wanted to come for the opening match of the world’s main football event with his mother.
In his submission as part of the FIFA campaign, Adityanshu wrote that "I would bring my mother along. She has been championing the spirit of sports and how it improves life skills in kids during her long teaching career spanning 33 years and counting."
"She has thousands of kids come out and express themselves through sports. And she will be very happy and proud to be a part of the biggest sporting spectacle on Earth," Adityanshu concluded.
After reading a message from Adityanshu, FIFA managed to get in touch and speak with the boy’s mother, whose name is Devashree, and concluded in the statement on Monday, that as a passionate fan of football she "has always recognized the true spirit and meaning of sport and the power it has in transmitting life values."
"In spite of the challenges of being the only female teacher at the time in her school, Devashree founded the first sports program in which she made it her mission to utilize football and sport as a tool to teach her students skills that they could use in all other aspects of their lives," according to the statement.
Moreover, FIFA also stated that "Inspired by his mother, Adityanshu has not only grown up as a passionate fan of the game, but now also works with an NGO called ‘Just for Kicks’ whose mission is to teach life skills through football to underprivileged kids in India."
"Currently operating in five cities, the ripple effect of his mother’s inspiration is now touching the lives of around 3,000 kids through football," the statement from FIFA added.
After successfully hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup this summer, Russia is now in full-swing preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Last week on Thursday, FIFA announced that almost 3.5 million ticket requests were submitted worldwide for matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia as national football teams booked all but nine spots in the upcoming world’s flagship football championship.
The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.
The teams, which already qualified for the next year’s championship are hosts Russia, Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Belgium, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia, Germany, England, Spain, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Poland, Egypt, Iceland, Serbia, France, Portugal, Panama, Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina.