A large and vibrant gathering of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who are passionate about social development through football met with representatives of FIFA and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ LOC in Kazan during the third edition of the Football for Hope Forum.

The forum brought together representatives from FIFA’s Football for Hope-supported NGOs from all over the globe to network and share their experiences and best practices working in social development in football.

There were also guests from other football organisations, the Qatar 2022 LOC, representatives from other international organisations and Russian NGOs.

“There is something particularly touching when so many different people gather to promote social development. To look for the best way to transform the lives of those who need it the most,” said FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura to the gathered crowd, which included FIFA Legends Karina LeBlanc and Alexey Smertin.

“For me, this is what this Football For Hope Forum is about. And it is why I am truly honoured to be here talking to you,” Samoura said, before adding: “I want you to stop for a second and think of the meaning of bringing all these people together - exclusively to discuss social development through football.

“We tend to start taking these things for granted, but the truth is that this is incredible. This event, in itself, sends the most powerful of messages.”

One major purpose of the event, which included moderated workshops with presentations and a visit to the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 semi-final, was to help further shape FIFA's Football for Hope initiative and to explore football's contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At the semi-finals in Kazan on 28 June and Sochi on 29 June, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) will also celebrate the FIFA Anti-Discrimination Days with a special pre-match protocol, an annual event that has been part of the FIFA calendar since 2001.