International Children’s News Bureau EURO2020: Digest 4 – Stories from St.Petersburg
Saint Petersburg was one of the cities, with a very busy schedule during UEFA EURO2020. 7 matches, 3 official fan zones, extra activities – the city literally lived football. The team of the F4F Young Journalists had a lot of work to do. Besides the matches, they had a meeting with the Russian Minister of Sports and a contemporary artist Pokras Lampas, had a chance to play football with the players of Zenit Women’s Football Team, tied a friendship bracelet on a famous ex-player Andrey Arshavin and took interviews with fans from all around Europe.
F4F Young Journalist Eugene Yakovlev shares his impressions: “When we came to the fan zone, I was delighted with the fact that I was surrounded by cheerful and joyful fans. The art object by Pokras Lampas attracted special attention, I was shocked by the idea of using soccer balls and their implementation. Being at the fan zone I felt relaxed and amazed. But then I started to feel a bit nervous because there was an opportunity to take an interview with the Minister of Sports Oleg Vasilyevich Matytsin and the famous artist Pokras Lampas. It was very interesting and exciting to ask questions and to listen to the answers. This day will remain in my memory for a long time.”
Sofia Bochkanova, F4f Young Journalist visited the master class with Zenit players: “the football village hosted a master class with the players of the Zenit football club: striker Tatiana Marina, defender Ksenia Tsybutovich. The girls answered the questions of young journalists. They told us how they cope with defeats, how they came to the game, and why football has become a part of their lives. “There are no victories without defeats,”- said Tatiana. And it’s true. After the press conference, the participants went to the makeshift field. Here the athletes showed their playing skills, worked with the ball, and passed on their knowledge to the young players.”
And before the match between Belgium and Finland F4F Young Journalists Danis Gantsev and Ulyana Kamkina visited the prediction ceremony by Achilles the Cat, the official oracle of Euro2020 in Saint Petersburg: “On the twenty-first of June, a ceremony was held with the cat Achilles in the Hermitage. In the beginning, the representative of Achilles made a speech about him. Later, the Consuls of Finland and Belgium came out. They also made a speech. The Consul of Finland at the end of his speech thanked Russia for the fact that everything was well organized and convenient for tourists from different countries, and the Consul of Belgium said that Russia is a great place to organize this type of competition, and also praised the infrastructure and atmosphere of St. Petersburg. After that, I was able to interview a representative of Achilles and a veterinarian, Anna Kondratieva. Also, behind the scenes, we were told some interesting facts about the cat predictor. First, Achilles is fully vaccinated and neutered. The veterinarian also added that he advises taking the cat as an example, and also to be vaccinated. Also, Achilles the cat, the only cat with its own Fan ID! Moreover, the oracle cat is on a special diet and is engaged in physical activity to maintain a healthy weight. I managed to hold the cat in my arms. He sat very calmly on his hands and did not resist at all.” – shared Danis.