Special Correspondent

The academy is expected to be completed in a year’s time

BANGALORE: The foundation stone for FIFA Goal Project II, an initiative of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in association with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Karnataka State Football Association (KSFA) was laid by Civil Aviation Minister and president of the AIFF, Praful Patel, and Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa at the Bangalore Football Stadium (BFS) on Wednesday.

The academy, expected to be completed in a year’s time, will be aimed at nurturing young talent at the national and state level.

Capable of handling between 40 and 60 students, the academy will boast of international facilities like a paramedic centre, world-class gymnasium and boarding and lodging for the candidates.

Built at a cost of Rs. 3.5 crore, the academy will select youngsters from local and national tournaments and train them through a period of two years.

FIFA has also sanctioned another 3.5 crores to lay an astro-turf at BFS. Mr. Patel, spoke of the importance of developmental programs and said, “The Goal Project is being initiated in various parts of the country as we feel the need to improve the status of the sport and also decentralise it.

“State level developmental programs and more international exposure for the national team are the need of the hour.”

He also added that an international tour for the Indian team had been planned and would happen in 2010.

Mr. Patel also commended the state governments efforts for the upliftment of the sport and requested Mr. Yeddyurappa to patronise the sport.

In response to Mr. Patel’s request, the Chief Minister promised a grant of Rs. 5 crore to the KSFA for its youth development programme.

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