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June 29, the ongoing construction project VTB Arena – Dynamo Central Stadium named after Lev Yashin hosted a press conference dedicated to a new large-scale project of Natalia Vodianova, the founder of the Naked Heart Foundation for children’s help and the Board Member of Special Olympics. July 13, 2018, together with the social movement “Russia Loves Football!” the stadium will host a unique charity event – a special match with the best football players of the world, popular actors, musicians and other celebrities mixed together with the athletes of Special Olympics.
The event is targeted to attract public attention to the rights and opportunities of people with mental disabilities and to increase social awareness about Special Olympics which currently is the largest sports organization arranging sportive events for people with mental disabilities.
According to the initiator of the Special Match Natalia Vodianova, “Special Match is a huge and unprecedented event not only in the sphere of charity, but also in the world of sports. The project will allow us to attract the attention of the Russian modern society to help people with autism, Down syndrome, and other mental disabilities and to bring the dialogue about tolerance and inclusion to a new level in Russia. We want to show the world that Russia also shares the principles of inclusion.”
The founder of the Eventica strategic communications agency, and the cofounder of the social movement “Russia Loves Football!” Sergey Kolushev noted, “It is the first time in our country when we have a project of such a level. The fact that the event will happen during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the main event of the football world, crates additional importance for this bright event. Soon we are going to announce the names of the celebrities who will be participating in the Special Match.”
Senior Vice-President of VTB Bank and the head of VTB Arena Park Andrei Peregoudov clarified, “From the very beginning, we considered our project as a place of goodness, harmony, kindness, family and human values. That is why we were inspired with enthusiasm and gratitude by the idea to host this inclusive charity match at the Dynamo Stadium. We are sure that it will become a big meaningful event touching peoples’ heats around the world.”
The ambassador of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia™, cofounder of the social movement “Russia Loves Football!” Alexey Smertin noted,
“The mission of the social movement “Russia Loves Football!” is to become the emotion engine of the football fan community and to extend it by welcoming new active members. The special match is another step not only to popularization of this sport but also it is a great opportunity to demonstrate its uniting force as a catalyst in solving serious and important problems and challenges of our society. I am sure that such a strong team as “Russia Loves Football!” supported by Natalia Vodianova at the VTB Arena, a super modern facility, will create a really tremendous project.”
The social movement “Russia Loves Football!” was initiated by Entica and supported by the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation and the Football Union of Russia intended to popularize football, to attract and involve a broad public into the game well-loved by millions of people all over Russia.