Arsenal to set up football school in India

The day is not far when top international football clubs such as Real Madrid, Manchester United and FC Barcelona have presence in India, feels Paul Shipwright, head of English club Arsenal’s ‘Soccer School’ initiative.

Shipwright is currently in India to promote the fourth edition of ‘Soccer Stars’ starting on December 14, a joint initiative by Tata Tea and Arsenal.

He said there is no dearth of talent in India and if players get the required exposure, the country will start performing at the world stage. India is 142nd in the latest FIFA rankings.

“The talent in this country of 1.2 billion people is enormous,” Shipwright said. “The players are desperate to learn. But the only reason they are lagging behind is they do not get access to world-class competitive challenge. The budding players do not get enough top-level match practice.

“My belief is that even if the young guys are trained under an Arsenal coach, they have to have match practice at the end of the day. “The greatest challenge in India would be to get the structure right,” he said.

Arsenal has ‘Soccer Schools’, which is an initiative of the club to promote football, in 23 countries and nine of them are in Asia.

When asked about the club’s intentions to open an academy in India, Shipwright said: “You will very soon see set ups of major clubs in this country. The discussions are on in the Arsenal on setting up of a school here but I cannot give you a date when it will happen.”

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 10:09:18 PM |

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