FC Bayern to share its experience for promotion of soccer in Bengal

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Kolkata, May 26 (UNI) European soccer giant FC Bayern Munich today assured that they will share their expertise for the promotion of football and building of the game's infrastructure in West Bengal.

The German league champion arrived here on a three-day visit to play a friendly with Mohun Bagan at Salt Lake Stadium tomorrow, that has generated huge enthusiam among the soocer-frenzy Kolkatans.

The friendly, billed as Oliver Kahn's farewell match, would be hosted by Indian Football Association, Bengal's supreme soccer body, affiliated to All India Football Federation.

Peerless Bengal, a premier business organisation, was also co-sponsor of the friendly.

A four-member FC Bayern delegation today visited Burdwan, a neighbouring district, to make an on the spot study for setting up a football academy in association of the West Bengal Government's Sports department.

The academy is a brainchild of state Commerce and Industries Minister Nirupam Sen, spearheading neo-industrialisation of the state.

The delegates were shown several sites and existing facilities where a soccer academy would be established.

Mr Sen said, '' We have shown them several grounds and they are very keen on going ahead with the programme. '' He said the delegates sought a project report, to be compiled in assocation with local people, soccer clubs and experts before mailing it to Germany, said Mr Sen.

'' We want to restore our football glory, which has suffered a lot due to commercialisation of cricket. Our state was a pioneer in soccer. But due to various reasons soccer has been relegated to back seat,'' Mr Sen said adding the state's Sports department had assured of all assistance for setting up the academy.

Initially, 20 boys will be given training at SAI, Salt Lake, of them five boys will be picked up for a training programme in Germany.

Mr Sen said talks were held for having FC Bayern's expertise for stadium design, coaching and training programme in Germany.

FC Bayern delegate Martina Hagel said they were impressed by the people's response to have an academy.

She said they would be glad if anyway FC Bayern could help promote football in India.


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