Kolkata: Spanish football organisation La Liga and the West Bengal government have signed an MoU to set up a football academy with modern infrastructural facilities in association with the state government, an official communique said.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and La Liga president Javier Tebas in Madrid (Spain) on Thursday.
” I have no doubt that Bengal is the talent factory of football and has produced some of India’s finest players, ‘ said Tebas responding to the CM invitation to visit Bengal.
” Be our guest; feel the football mania in Bengal. The kind of football frenzy you witness in Bengal is unparalleled,’ Banerjee said to Javier Tebas during the signing of the MoU at the “Session de Bangla Occidental La Liga Espania’ in Madrid, the home of some of the Spanish football giants like Real Madrid.
La Liga has agreed to serve as a partner and a platform for the development of talented young players in West Bengal in coordination with the local football federations and other local grassroots football organisations, and developing various sports training projects in the state.
Before signing the MoU, Banerjee held a closed-door meeting with the La Liga president and his team.
“The focus of the meeting centered around strengthening relations between the two regions through linking sports and cultural institutions, promoting women’s football, supporting the overall growth of football, and professionalising the football eco-system in the state”.
The meeting also explored areas of mutual collaboration through the exchange of technical know-how and talents to uplift the growth of overall football in Bengal.
The MoU aims to promote football as a means of fostering sportsmanship, health, and prosperity. La Liga will develop a football training academy, including infrastructure and coaching facilities within the state of Bengal.
As per the agreement, coaches and players from Bengal may be trained by the coaches of La Liga.
La Liga will also share its experience and expertise to assist football clubs in Bengal and make them self-sustainable.
The Chief Minister took the opportunity to invite the La Liga president to visit Bengal and requested him to be present during a friendly match.
The event was attended by, among others, former BCCI president and cricketing legend Sourav Ganguly, who said Football is the universal language and his first love.
The other representatives who attended from Kolkata were the officials of Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, and Mohammedan Sporting.
Later, Banerjee said on her social media post that she attended the West Bengal Session with La Liga in Spain, which was organised in partnership with WBIDC and ICC.
President Javier Tebas and I had an enriching discussion about the development of football in Bengal.
“Bengal’s football future looks bright!” Banerjee, who is leading a delegation in Spain seeking mutual cooperation, for the development of industries, sports, and other needs of the state.