Spain’s top-flight football league – famously referred to as LaLiga – has announced plans to set up a football academy in East Africa.
Speaking during a press meeting at a Nairobi hotel on Wednesday, Oliver Dodd, who is LaLiga’s Representative in Kenya, revealed the academy would ‘preferably’ be in Nairobi.
“Our scouts have been here and they tell us the talents here are fantastic,” said Dodd.
“We want to come up with a program to nurture some of these talents.”
Dodd added that LaLiga was working with giant telecommunication firm Safaricom to harness some of the best talents spotted from the annual U20 Chapa Dimba na Safaricom tournament.
“We will select the best 16 boys and 16 girls from this year’s tournament who will head to Spain, near Barcelona for a training camp with some of our best coaches. They will also play against selected local sides.”
Five-time Ballon’Dor champion Lionel Messi, alongside world champions Francesc Fabregas, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquetts, Fernando Torres and Andreas Iniesta are some of the talents who have been groomed in Spain.
LaLiga has in recent times increased their presence in Kenya, in a move aimed at promoting the standards of the game locally and transforming the Spanish League into a more popular outfit.
Dodd also emphasized the partnership between LaLiga and the Kenyan Premier League aimed at producing local league matches, plus the European league’s initiative to eradicate match-fixing.