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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 16 July 2024

After 14 years, FC Barcelona shuts down its football academies in India

Barca Academy India was the largest grassroots football training and development initiative in India

PTI New Delhi Published 19.06.24, 12:15 PM
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World-renowned football club FC Barcelona has decided to shut down all its academies in India, 14 years after starting operations with an aim to train the country's kids in their famed 'La Masia (youth academy)' style.

FC Barcelona did not provide any official reason for the closure. All its academies in the Indian cities of Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune will cease to exist from July 1.

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"FC Barcelona have informed the families involved in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune will cease to operate as Barca Academies from 1 July 2024," the club said in a statement which it uploaded on its website.

"Barcelona's presence in India began back in 2010 and since then thousands of youngsters have learned to play football in the Barca style and with the Club's values.

"Furthermore, India was the venue for two Barca Academy APAC tournament in 2019 and 2020 and the academies have been an ever present in the 11 editions of the Barca Academy World Cup held in Barcelona during Easter Week," the club added.

Football legends such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique achieved their superstardom after undergoing training at the Barca Academy.

In the statement, FC Barcelona expressed gratitude to all the families for their trust in the project over the years, as well as to all the coaches, local staff, and Conscient Football, the club's India partner that has collaborated on the Barca academies project all these years.

Barca Academy India was the largest grassroots football training and development initiative in India.

As part of the venture, it set multiple football training centres in Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Pune, organising programs, camps, leagues, tournaments, and exposure trips.

Barca Academy is the flagship FC Barcelona school aimed at boys and girls between 4 to 17 years of age and its main objective is to provide a comprehensive training environment for their students.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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