Manchester United officials hold talks with AIFF over Goa academy

February 5th, 2009 - 10:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) The All India Football Federation (AIFF) officials Thursday discussed with English club Manchester United delegation on a possible technical tie-up with the proposed national academy in Goa financed by telecom major Bharti.A three-member United delegation comprising its academy director Brian McClair, business head of the school Steve Jones and consultant Bell Hopps had extensive discussions.

“Everything is at a preliminary stage and we will have some more meetings with the delegates. Today they made a presentation,” said an AIFF official.

Bharti representatives were also present at the meeting.

“Bharti is looking for a tie-up with a leading international football club for the best expertise. Manchester United is one of the clubs we are in discussion. We can’t say much on it at the moment,” a Bharti spokesperson said.

The Rs.1 billion state-of-the art academy was to have come up at Cuncolim in Goa last March but ran into rough weather with two powerful Goan politicians locking horns. Local sentiments have also been aroused to block the academy from coming up at Cuncolim on 126,000 square metres.

A couple of weeks ago, AIFF acting president Praful Patel, who is also the Union Civil Aviation Minister, was in Goa to clear the political roadblocks as one of the ministers involved belonged to his Nationalist Congress Party. Patel was confident that the academy work would soon begin.

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