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Real Madrid to set up football academies in Iraq

21 Feb 2012
Baghdad, Iraq: Iraq’s Ministry of Sports and Youth has signed an agreement for sports cooperation with Spanish football giants Real Madrid to establish four football academies in the province of Kurdistan. Real Madrid representative Miguel Mutton said in a press conference following the signing ceremony of the agreement in the city of Erbil that the four academies aimed to develop young teams, coaches and training and administrative staff.

The academies will be based in the cities of Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaymaniyah. According to the agreement, which was signed by the provincial Minister of Culture and Youth, Kaweh Mahmoud, along with Mutton, the Spanish club will oversee the academies through the training of local staff in Spain, and also take Spanish experts to the academies.

“At this stage, it is important for both sides to enhance the self-confidence of the players who will join the academy, as well as educate them, because it is the project’s first priority,” explained Mutton. Similar academies exist in 62 other countries. At the same time there are 190 other academies waiting and ready to be signed by Real Madrid.

Mahmoud said the academies would be distributed in cities in the region, adding that this joint work between the provincial government and Real Madrid would strengthen the base of sport and serve the movement of youth in the province. The four academies will accept students at various age groups up to 17 years. They will open in June.

By Abed-Alhakim Amer, Member, AIPS Football Commission Working Group Asia/www.aipsmedia.com
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