FC Barcelona Shuts Down Its Football Academies in India

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World-renowned football club FC Barcelona has decided to shut down all its academies in India, 14 years after starting operations with an aim to train the country’s kids in their famed ‘La Masia (youth academy)’ style. The club did not provide any official reason for the closure.

FC Barcelona shutdown: Huge setback for Indian Football Community

All FC Barcelona academies in the Indian cities of Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Pune will cease to exist from July 1, 2024. Since 2010, thousands of youngsters in India have learned to play football in the Barca style and with the club’s values.

India hosted two Barca Academy APAC tournaments in 2019 and 2020. The academies also participated in the 11 editions of the Barca Academy World Cup held in Barcelona during Easter Week.

FC Barcelona expressed gratitude to all the families for their trust in the project over the years. They also acknowledged the coaches, local staff, and Conscient Football, the club’s India partner, which collaborated on the Barca Academies project.

It was the largest grassroots football training and development initiative in India. The venture set up multiple football training centres in Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Pune, organizing programs, camps, leagues, tournaments, and exposure trips. Barca Academy is aimed at boys and girls between 4 and 17 years of age, providing a comprehensive training environment.

The closure marks the end of an era for aspiring young footballers in India who benefited from the Barca Academy’s expertise and values. While the reasons behind the decision remain undisclosed, the legacy of La Masia and the impact it had on football development in India will be remembered for years to come.

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