NEW DELHI: It is not beyond the realms of possibility that a 15-year-old Indian kid could find himself playing for Aston Villa Football Club. In what could be a major boost for football in India, the iconic football club from Birmingham, announced its plans to open a football academy in New Delhi which will provide opportunities to the underprivileged kids.
Aston Villa chairman (r) Tony Xia addresses the media in New Delhi announcing the launch of its Academy
“In line with the club’s decision to expand globally, Aston Villa not only want to have an Indian Super League club but also open football academies all over India!”, said Tony Xia, Chairman, Aston Villa Football Club while addressing the media.
“Aston Villa has one of the best football academies in the world and has fans all over the world and some of our famous fans include David Cameron, Prince William, Tom Hanks and using our network we also want to help promote U17 FIFA World Cup being held in India next year and make it a big sports celebration in India!”, he further added.
ASTON VILLA FC’s Chairman, Tony Xia and group members of Aston Villa club, have been holding meetings with several members of the Indian Government including the Minister of Sport (Vijay Goel) and the Minister of Education (Prakesh Javedekar) to discuss providing the training for football coaches for Indian state schools to be based at a new Aston Villa academy and training facility to be opened in New Delhi. The objective is for India to have a national football team challenging on the international stage and for India to host the World Cup.
The New Delhi Aston Villa academy will also coach and train youngsters from the age of 5 as Aston Villa does in England. Also, Aston Villa FC believes in equal opportunity in sports for every kid and therefore we plan to send coaches and provide coaching programme for poor kids and girls.
Aston Villa co-founded the Football League and the English Premier League and has spent the second longest period (105 years) in England’s top tier of football. It has won the top league seven times and has also beaten Bayern Munich to win the European Cup, now called the Champions League. It is also the leading club in the Midlands playing at its iconic Villa Park Stadium in Birmingham, England’s 2nd largest city, which has a large Indian population. Aston Villa’s football academy and training ground is regarded as one of the very best in football and is located outside Birmingham at Bodymoor Heath.
“Our endeavor is to provide the best facilities for junior footballers so that they can compete with the best at the International level. We recognise the value of grassroots programmes as a vehicle for educational, social and sporting development,” said Chris Samuelson, Deputy Chairman, Aston Villa Football Club.
“As per reports, EPL viewership in India is 25 million and we hope to make the game accessible to more people – particularly kids from the underprivileged section. Brazil is a fantastic example, and if we do it right I see no reason why India, with a population of 1.3 billion, can’t emulate Brazil,”
The Sports & Leisure Division of RECON GROUP, one of the leading Smart City Builders of the World has purchased Aston Villa Football Club in June 2016 and Dr.Tony Xia became the youngest owner of a top English football club.