Football at the Russia–Africa Forum: Sychev’s Winning Goal and Five Countries at the Student Festival
The Russian national team defeated the African team (4:3) in a gala football match during the Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum. Forum participants and football stars played the match at Petrovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg.
The Russian team was bolstered by UEFA Cup winners Roman Shirokov and Yevgeny Aldonin, Euro 2008 bronze medallists Dmitry Sychev and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, as well as two-time Russian champion Ruslan Pimenov. The Russian football players were coached by Alexander Mostovoy, a legend of Spartak and Spain’s Celta.
The African national team included players known for their performances with Russian clubs: Senegal’s Dame N’Doye, South Africa’s MacBeth Sibaya, Liberia’s Sekou Oliseh, and Nigeria’s Obafemi Martins. The African team was coached by Valery Nepomnyashchy, who led the Cameroon national team to the quarterfinals of the 1990 World Cup.
Sychev scored the decisive goal against the African team. The Russian team also got solid performances from Deputy Head of the Russian President’s Office for Work with Citizens and Organizations Alexey Mikheyev, Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg Alexander Belsky, and former Zenit forward and blogger Alexey Gasilin.
The match was organized by the Russian Football Union and RC Sport, the sports platform of the Roscongress Foundation.
Football stars also took part in the panel session ‘Prospects for International Football Cooperation between Africa and Russia’. The discussion topics included cooperation on ways to develop youth football, train coaches, organize major international tournaments, and develop football infrastructure.
“Lots of African legionnaires have been imbued with love for our country. They have been very warmly received at all Russian clubs. This is precisely our message: to exchange experience and make visits. The young men who played in Russia should become stewards who can bring together football officials in our country and in African countries,” Sychev said.
Another football-related event held at the Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum was the international student festival. A major tournament brought together eight teams from Russia, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Mali and served as a symbol of friendship between the peoples of Russia and Africa.
The final of the tournament featured two three-time champions of the National Student Football League (NSFL) – Kuban State University and Crimean Federal University. Isakh Bukhari, a student at Kuban State University, scored the decisive goal in the match. Students from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University defeated Methodist University of Ghana and won bronze at the tournament.
The awards ceremony was attended by Russian Deputy Minister of Justice Alu Alkhanov and NSFL President Andrey Stukalov.
Other football matches were also held during the festival. Students from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University won the 5 × 5 and 1 × 1 football tournaments, while the team from St. Petersburg State University of Industrial Technologies and Design won the 3 × 3 tournament.