India Is The Soon-To-Be Home Of A National Football Academy, By IMG
A national football academy, on "par with the best in the world," will be built in Vadodara, India, and is "expected to provide a much-needed fillip" to sport in India, according to the PTI. The All India Football Federation, along with its commercial and marketing partner IMG-Reliance, at a Thursday meeting "presented a 360 degree plan of football development in India with a common vision of the country participating in the 2026 World Cup." One source said, "Reliance Industries is donating its township facility in Vadodara free of cost for setting up a national academy at par with the best in the world." Vadodara already has four to five football grounds, and IMG-Reliance has said that "building an academy there would be easy." Along with setting up the academy, both the AIFF and IMG-Reliance are "working toward refurbishing the existing stadiums." Discussions are "in progress with state associations to push for stadium refurbishments." The academy's goal is to produce 80% of national team players "from the academy within the next 10 years." IMG-Reliance will also provide scholarships to 16 football players, "which will include full-time training and academic education" at IMG Academy in Florida (PTI, 8/23).