THE KwaZulu-Natal government has praised the Spanish government and Spanish Royal Football Federation's decision to set up a youth academy in the province.
The decision was announced last week by Pablo Benavides Orgaz, Spain's ambassador to South Africa, who was accompanied by Jorge Perez, general secretary of Spain's football federation, when they met sports MEC Weziwe Thusi, among other local politicians.
The meeting was aimed at finalising partnership agreements involving the provincial government, the city of eThekwini, Lamontville Golden Arrows and the provincial government.
Orgaz said the academy would also help prepare young boys to grow up and become responsible citizens.
"We will teach them life skills and attend to their social needs because, in our view, football is a way of life,"' he said.
"It will help many young people to achieve their dreams of playing for teams such as Real Madrid and Barcelona."
Premier Zweli Mkhize pointed out that despite the fact that the oldest known football club was formed in KwaZulu-Natal 100 years ago, soccer in the province was not developing rapidly enough. In another development the Algerian national team announced that they had chosen San Lameer on KZN's South Coast as their base camp for the Fifa World Cup.