The Wanda Group, an official global Partner of world football’s governing body FIFA, has rights to FIFA’s Youth Programme at every tournament, selecting children to become FIFA Flag Bearers in the pre-match ceremonies.
For the two semi-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™, Wanda is offering the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for six young members of Qatar Foundation’s (QF) sport and community programmes to participate in the ‘FIFA Flag Bearers’ programme. This will see them stand alongside some of the top names in women’s football – and in front of a global TV audience of millions – ahead of kick-off in both games.
The six high school students from Qatar, together with their chaperones, were invited to participate by Wanda Group in recognition of the values that the Chinese conglomerate and QF share in the sphere of youth engagement and empowerment, fostering cultural exchange, and harnessing the power of sport to inspire a new generation.
Ahead of the semi-finals – which will be played on July 2 and 3 – they have been touring Lyon and participating in a special QF-hosted engagement activity in the French city, where they have had the chance to meet and share stories with young members of the local community. Each game’s group of FIFA flag bearers will include three representatives from the Qatar youth delegation, who will then watch the match from the Stade de Lyon stands.
The trip is the first step in what is intended to be a close and ongoing relationship between QF and Wanda Group over the next three-and-a-half years, as Qatar prepares to host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
"We are very happy to take the first steps in our collaboration with Qatar Foundation,” said Hengming Yang, President of the Wanda Sports Group.
“As a Partner of FIFA until 2030, Wanda is committed to using our sponsorship rights to inspire the next generation of young footballers in China and all over the world. We're looking forward to hosting the Qatari children in France and working more closely together with Qatar Foundation in the years leading up to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.”
Mr. Mohammed Fakhroo, Executive Director of Outreach and Institutional Advancement, QF, said: “Sport has the capacity not just to excite, but to inspire, unify, transform horizons, and bring together people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds, which is why its impact stretches far beyond the sporting arena.
“We hope that this experience will be truly life-changing for them, and that it will inspire them to spread the message within their community about the possibilities for personal growth and discovery that engaging with sport and being active members of society opens up. QF is extremely grateful to Wanda Group for this opportunity, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them to support youth development and engagement in Qatar.”
The youth from Qatar who have taken the unforgettable trip to France are Fatima Al-Naimi, Haya Al-Naimi, and Alya Al-Naimi, who are all members of QF’s community programmes; Farah Mohammed and Nihad Rizal, members of QF’s Ability-Friendly Sports Program, which offers swimming and football classes for children as young as three years who are on the autism spectrum, while elevating societal awareness of autism; and Shameem Taha, who is part of QF’s football programme.