June 6, 2014
First-ever govt-sponsored football academy launched in Bengal
The West Bengal Government Wednesday launcheda residential football academy, first-ever done by any state, to promoteyoung local talents.
“No other state government or theCentre has taken any such initiative so far, but we have done it under the strongleadership of Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee,” state`s Sports ministerMadan Mitra said after announcing the launch of the `Bengal Football Academy`here today.
The announcement was made amid the presenceof country`s yesteryear legendary footballers like P K Banerjee, Chuni Goswami,Arun Ghosh, Naimuddin, Subhash Bhowmik, Subrata Bhattacharya, Crompton Duttaand Samaresh Dutta besides the Academy`s Technical Director Goutam Sarkar.
Mitra said that the Academy would be aresidential one for which forty talents in the age group of 13 to 15 years havealready been shortlisted for five years training period in the first batch atits stadium at Khardaha.
Sponsored by the West Bengal State Councilof Sports, the Academy would formally be inaugurated by the state Finance andIndustry Minister Amit Mitra on June 8 at Khardaha in the presence of 100luminaries of Indian football.
Even as there is a budgetary allocation ofRs one crore for the purpose, the allocation could be revised if required, thesports minister said.
The state government also has a plan tomodernise its training stadium at Khardaha at an expense of Rs 10 crore withthe inclusion of a swimming pool, athletic track, state-of-the art gymnasiumand a guest house, Mitra said.
He also announced that the state governmenthas decided to set up 100 giant screens in and around the city ahead of thesoccer World Cup in Brazil to satisfy football enthusiasts here.
“Before each World Cup match on thegiant screens, a short film on Bengal Football Academy would be shown,”Mitra said.