Aston Villa FC have opened their first football academy outside England in New Delhi, India, while the English Championship side also announced their future Indian plans.
The club made the announcement at a press conference after a club delegation including Aston Villa chairman Dr. Tony Xia held discussions with India’s Minister of Sport Vijay Goel and Minister of Education Prakesh Javedekar.
The Aston Villa academy will be located in New Delhi on property provided by the Municipal Council, including a 3G pitch and offices, changing rooms, gym, classrooms and other amenities according to a statement released by the club. The academy will train coaches to work in the state schools and will coach kids from the age of five upwards.
Furthermore Villa is to be appointed as advisor on football as the sport forms part of the national curriculum for Indian state schools. The club is also planning to tie-up with a Indian Super League (ISL) club to further deepen their ties with Indian football.
“Aston Villa Football Club, one of the most successful football clubs in the history of English football, plans to expand globally and India is one of the countries where Aston Villa not only wants to have an Indian Super League club but also open football academies all over India”, said Tony Xia, chairman of Aston Villa Football Club while addressing the media in New Delhi.
“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 the U-17 FIFA World Cup being held in India next year and make it a big sports celebration in India”, he further added.