Bhutia to start football school for underprivileged children

In his 15 years of international career, Bhaichung Bhutia has brought many laurels to the Indian football icon is now starting a football school in his name,which will teach the sport among underprivileged children free of cost

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2010, 18:20 PM IST

New Delhi:In his 15 years of international career, Bhaichung Bhutia has brought many laurels to the country and the Indian football icon is now starting a football school in his name, which will teach the sport among underprivileged children free of cost, in the national capital.

The Indian football captain is launching the Bhaichung Bhutia Football School here on October 30, which will teach football basics to school children, of which 30 per cent will
be from the underprivileged sections of the society.

The football school has tied up with the Carlos Queiroz academy in Portugal, which will provide two coaches for 360 days to train the children in Delhi. Queiroz, the former
national coach of Portugal and South Africa, is famous for his work for development of football at the grassroot and youth level besides authoring books and documentaries about the power of football as a positive force for social change.

It will be a non-residential school and I will get a ground in Delhi on lease. 30 per cent of children will be from underprivileged section and the other 70 per cent will have to
pay fee. There will be tie-ups with some schools and NGOs to get the children. For the underprivileged ones, NGOs like Magic Bus will provide them," Bhaichung told to reporters.

"This will be the first school in the country and I am looking to spread it in other parts of the country in future. Noida, Mumbai and Bangalore are the places I am looking at for
such schools in near future provided I get the land," he said.

Asked how the idea to start such a school came to him, Bhaichung said, "All over the world lots of children are interested in football. Even street children play football. The only thing is that they don`t have proper grounds and they are not organised. In a way it is good that underprivileged children in the country will get to play football."

"It will not be a school which will be run to provide professional football but one which will encourage children to take up football and enjoy it. They will also learn the basics
of football. The talented ones will be drafted into the professional academy, which I am opening in Kolkata and Sikkim with (Bollywood actor) John Abraham," he added.

Bhaichung said the Carlos Queiroz Academy will provide two coaches for 360 days to teach football basics to the children.

"Carlos Queiroz is a guy known for grassroot and youth football in Portugal, United States and Manchester United. I have tied up with his academy. His academy is providing two coaches from Portugal to train the children in Delhi for 360 days," said the Sikkimese who is one of the few international footballers to have played 100 matches for their country. Queiroz is a well-known coach having been at the helm of affairs of Portuguese under-20 and national sides, the national sides of United Arab Emirates and South Africa. He was also coach of Spanish giants Real Madrid, top sides of United States and Japan besides being the assistant manager of Manchester United for two stints under Alex Ferguson.

He was last month sacked as Portuguese national coach after the national side failed to qualify for the 2012 Euro Championships.

Bhaichung`s school will also teach the physical trainers in schools of Delhi on how to impart football basics to children.

He said Nike will provide kits to the children and other expenses he is spending from his pocket.

"Nike is sponsoring the kits of the children and football. There will be some money from the fees from the 70 per cent of the children. The remaining I will spend from my pocket. May be in future sponsors come along," said Bhaichung, who will lead the national side in the AFC Asian Cup in Doha, Qatar in January 7-29, 2001.

Asked why he chose Delhi to start such a school, he said, "There is no specific reason. I have to start from some place and I have chosen Delhi. Let us see how it goes. I want to
spread it all over the country."

Queiroz was to be in India on October 30 when Bhaichung announces the launch of the school at a press conference here but the Portuguese will come only next year due to prior
engagements.

"Queiroz was to be in India on October 30 but he will now come in January or February."

PTI