"Friendship Cup" is a football tournament held by NewSport together with the government of the Republic of Tatarstan in Kazan. The participants of the tournament were teams representing the Executive and legislative authorities of the CIS, Baltic States and a number of Russian cities.
Mintimer Shaimiev launched the first tournament in 2008, and in subsequent years the idea of holding the Friendship Cup was consistently supported by Rustam Minnikhanov. Thanks to such important support and well – coordinated joint efforts, a serious step forward was made-the attention of the leaders of a large number of regions of the CIS countries was attracted, the tournament secured the attention of the leading regional media. During each tournament the main tasks of "Friendship Cup" are successfully solved: strengthening of business and friendly contacts of representatives of public authorities, popularization of sports and, in particular, football.
Since 2012, the Board of Trustees of the tournament was headed by Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan Ildar Khalikov, and the Board of Trustees includes Asgat Akhmetovich Safarov, Alexander Petrovich Gusev, Ruslan Sultanovich Aushev. During the existence of the tournament, famous politicians, public figures, stars of Russian and foreign football, film and pop artists took part in the annual friendly football battles.
Over the years the tournament in Kazan was visited by such football stars like Eusebio (Portugal), Dmitry Alenichev, Rinat Dasaev, Yegor Titov (Russia), Aldair (Brazil), Michael Rummenigge (Germany), Franco Baresi (Italy), Luigi Di Biagio (Italy) and many other outstanding players.
Artists and musicians are also frequent guests and participants of the tournament. In particular, in 2014, the "Cup of Friendship" was played by the Trumpeter Nicholas, Vladimir Presnyakov, Artur Smolyaninov.