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VENTURES AFRICA – Libyan football giants Al Ahly have sealed an exciting youth development deal with Spanish champions FC Barcelona.
The deal which focuses on helping the Libyan club develop and harness the potential of some of its brightest talents will see Spanish club Barcelona admit young Libyan footballers into the famous La Masia academy for training sessions.
Barcelona’s La Masia is regarded as the world’s foremost football academy as it has produced a steady flow talent including four time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi as well as Xavi and Iniesta.
Confirmed by Sisi Buown, Chairman of the Tripoli-based club, the partnership signals a new dawn for grassroots football in Libya as the country, torn apart by civil war, begins the process of rebuilding in time to host the 2017 African Cup of Nations. Also inclusive in the deal is the scheduling of regular friendly matches to be played in Libya and Spain.
The deal marks an interesting turn of events as football ties between Libya and Spain continue to grow. Recently, the Libyan national team recruited Spaniard Javier Clemente as coach of their national team last September.
The deal also sees Barcelona increase business ties in Africa, as it also has an existing brand association deal with South African based Castle Lager. The Spanish giants also played a pre-season friendly against Moroccan club Raja Cabalanca in Morroco in preparation for the 2012/2013 season.