David Beckham will visit Trinidad
this weekend to launch a local football festival being organised by the
Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation.
The festival is being run by David
Beckham Academy, which will provide football, life skills programmes and
coaching workshops to almost 200 young players and coaches. The David Beckham
Academy is part of England’s football development proposal to FIFA, included in
England’s bid for hosting the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.
The idea was outlined during a
meeting between Beckham and FIFA vice-president and TTFF special adviser Jack
Warner, also CONCACAF president, during the World Cup 2010 final draw in South
Africa last December.
The festival will include six days
of activity and Beckham will kick off the festival at the Marvin Lee Stadium,
Macoya on Sunday after attending the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup final on
Saturday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Beckham said he is “looking
forward” to the visit. “Trinidad and Tobago have produced some excellent
players over the years and the islands are full of young people who love
football,” the former Manchester United midfielder said. “I am really looking
forward to seeing the young girls and boys from all backgrounds and their coaches
at my academy.”
Currently on a scheduled break from
Major League Soccer in the US, the Los Angeles Galaxy player says he is also
pleased he will be in T&T for the Under-17 women’s final. “Encouraging
young girls to play football has always been an important part of the thinking
behind the academy and it will be great to take this opportunity to also see
some of the world’s best young women play in the Under-17 final.”
Warner thanked Beckham for taking
his time to come to T&T. “I would
like to express my thanks to David and his team for arranging this,” Warner
said. “It is heartening to know that a man of such international stature
remains committed to the development of talent worldwide. This is a remarkable
opportunity for the 200 participants.
“The fact that despite his busy
schedule David has taken the time to open this festival, to share his knowledge
with the children, is testament to his character.”