[QODLink]
Football
Qatar buy Belgian football club
Aspire Foundation acquire second division club 'for a modest amount' as part of 'Football Dreams' programme.
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2012 10:35
Graduates of the Aspire Foundation's 'Football Dreams' programme will ultimately be placed in the Belgian club [EPA]

Qatar's Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) has purchased KAS Eupen, a second division football club based in Belgium's Liege province, for an undisclosed amount, officials said on Wednesday.

The acquisition was made to further Aspire Zone's "Football Dreams" programme, which scouts potential talent among adolescents in developing African nations as well as Vietnam, Thailand, Guatemala and Paraguay.

"We travel through these countries all year round with coaches and volunteers, organise matches, and provide the players with apparel. We then stage a final match in each country, with an international final held in Qatar," Ivan Bravo, director general of Qatar's Aspire Academy, said.

Graduate base

The winners selected at the international match are sent to a four-year training course in Senegal. Graduates from the Football Dreams programme will now be placed in the Eupen club, Bravo said.

"They will have a guaranteed place on the (Eupen) roster, and they will be playing," he said.

"Qatar has the means and the resources to contribute to development in other countries that don't have these resources. The leadership in Qatar is very committed to that," Bravo said.

"Graduates will come to Doha and work with Qatari players. We wanted to do something that could help develop Qatari athletes. The idea is to find talented football players around the world that would help Qatari players become better players."

AZF will oversee the management of the football-related activities of KAS Eupen, but will let existing management continue to oversee the club's other sports, Bravo said.

While declining to disclose the purchase's value, Bravo said "it was a modest amount."

State-run Qatar Sports Investments - established in 2005 by son of the Emir and heir to the Qatari throne Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani - last year bought a 70 percent stake in French football club Paris St Germain.

The Gulf state will host the World Cup in 2022.

313

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Vietnam, 40 percent of all pregnancies are terminated each year, a rate that health officials are hoping to reduce.
Ivory Coast tackles internet fraud scourge, but analysts say criminals continue to outsmart authorities.
In US study, MIT scientists changed the emotions linked to specific memories in mice.
The seizure of the Tabqa airbase highlights the Islamic State's consolidation of power in eastern Syria, analysts say.
Traditional spring festival blossoms outside India through fun runs, raves and TV commercials.
join our mailing list