Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 7 February 2016 - School children across the world dream of playing football, but what if parents and teachers encouraged this dream so that children also learn the importance of mutual respect, gain self-confidence and responsibility.

Shell and Football Club (FC) Barcelona Foundation have combined football and values to establish FutbolNet, a 12 week football training course that teaches children about respect, teamwork and commitment all through the enjoyable game of football.

This is the second year Shell, FC Barcelona Foundation and the Royal Commission kick off FutbolNet in Saudi Arabia. The programme builds on last year’s successful season, when 20 dedicated coaches supported 300 boys in the Jubail area to participate in the progreamme. The outcome was all the partners could hope for, happy children and a positive behaviour change as seen by  teachers and parents alike.

Patrick Van Daele, Shell’s Country Chair in Saudi Arabia and H.E. Dr Mosleh Al-Otaibi,  Chief Executive of the Royal Commission of Jubail hosted the opening festival of this successful programme.

Speaking on the occasion, Patrick Van Daele states that “it is such a delight to see children running, laughing and learning by playing. We intend to continue FutbolNet with our partners for a long time to come.”

The same thoughts were echoed by participating children such as Abdelrahman Al Hassan Al Chebrani, who at 12 years old explains how FutbolNet helped him "since I started training with FutbolNet, my physical performance has improved a great deal. It has taught me a lot of new values such as co-operation and teamwork, and it has helped me boost my football skills as well."

The coach of this programme, Turky Al Saed shared  the benefits of this programme: "what most attracted me to the FutbolNet programme was the opportunity to join a scheme that cleverly used a team sport to adjust the behaviour of our nation’s youth. FutbolNet is helping our society by teaching children important values they will need in life, such as respect and teamwork."

Mr. Jordi Cardoner, Vice-President of the FC Barcelona Foundation, pledged his support to the initiative and said "we are delighted to see our partnership with Shell continue for the second year in Saudi Arabia, where 300 boys will benefit again from FutbolNet in its first phase of the programme in the city of Jubail. And we look forward to continue working together".

The Royal Commission actively supports FutbolNet, which has also been launched by Shell in Qatar, Iraq and Oman.


About FC Barcelona:

The FC Barcelona Foundation is globally recognised for its social commitment and together with international partnerships, has developed different programs using sports as a vehicle to promote positive values to children and teenagers all over the world. Aside from Shell, the FC Barcelona Foundation has international partnerships with different UN Agencies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Fundación Pies Descalzos and the Leo Messi Foundation.

First program in Saudi Arabia was conducted February 2015 where 20 trained coaches successfully changed behaviours of students through football. This has also affected students' behaviour at home and social life. In addition to Saudi Arabia, FutbolNet is also active in Oman, Iraq and Qatar where it develops key success factors in the job market such as leadership skills. In Qatar the project will be specifically designed to encourage children and teenagers to have a healthier lifestyle and combat serious health issues such as obesity.

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For media enquiries:

Mr. Nureddin Wefati
Head of Media Relations for Middle East & North Africa
Shell EP International
Tel: +97147055347
Cell: +971562162409

Mr. Ali Khan
Spokesperson Middle East & North Africa
Shell EP International Ltd
Tel: +971 4 405 4563
Cell: +971 501 897 480

Mr. Fahad Bahdailah
External Relations Manager – Saudi Arabia & Bahrain
Cell: +966 540 088 444

Notes to Editors:


Shell in Saudi Arabia is active in refining, in the manufacture of petrochemicals, in the blending and marketing of lubricants, and in aviation refuelling.

Together with local partners, Shell has investments of more than $8 billion in the Kingdom. We employ more than 2,000 staff, the vast majority (80%) of whom are Saudi nationals.

We actively contribute to society at large.

We work together with the Spanish football team FC Barcelona as part of our ‘FutbolNet’ initiative, using sport to teach essential lessons about teamwork, respect and responsibility.

Shell’s Road Safety awareness programme partners with our road safety ambassador prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal. Recently, he interviewed victims of car accidents so that they can tell their heart wrenching stories with the hope of preventing others from having to deal with the same problems.

For the first time, Saudi universities participated in the Shell Eco-marathon this year. This competition challenges young engineers to design ultra-efficient vehicles of the future that consume the least amount of energy. The King Saud University clocked an impressive 99.6 km on one litre of fuel while the Al Faisal University scooped the coveted “Perseverance Award”.