Qatar Airways partners with Aspire Academy to shortlist African football team

aspirefootball-qatarairwaysSelected players will get a chance to train in Aspire Academy located in Senegal. (Image source: Qatar Airways)Qatar Airways has partnered with Aspire Academy’s Aspire Football Dreams programme to shortlist football players for the Qatar Airways & Aspire Academy – Football Dreams Africa team

Aspire Football Dreams was launched in 2007 to provide football players a chance to compete at the international level. The organisation runs a training academy in Senegal, West Africa. Coaches, staff members and more than 4,000 volunteers from Aspire Football Dreams assessed around 400,000 football players across 650 football fields in 14 countries last year.

Candidates were flown to Senegal where they spent a week training, and eventually played two matches against Spain’s youth team RCD Espanyol. The final team will be flown to Barcelona in Spain by Qatar Airways, to play against the country’s renowned football team FC Barcelona.

Each year, the programme selects up to 20 13-year-old boys, who are subjected to rigorous assessment prior to training and studying. So far, Aspire Football Dreams has tested two million football players since the beginning of the programme eight years ago.

Majority of the boys vying for a spot on the team come from disadvantaged areas of the sub-continent. Several train specifically for the Aspire Football Dreams annual try-outs. Results of the Aspire Football Dreams programme have already been made evident with a number of graduating students being signed to professional teams in Europe, including Diawandou Diagne, who signed with FC Barcelona B team in July 2014.

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