Rwanda Football Association (Ferwafa) has entered into a partnership with INEOS Europe to set up a state-of-the-art football academy in Rwanda.
The chemicals giant INEOS, owned by Britain’s richest man Jim Ratcliffe, signed a Memorandum of Understand with Ferwafa at the latter’s headquarters in Kigali on Wednesday.
Once it starts running, the academy is expected to give local youngsters a shot at making it into European football markets.
Under the agreement, the local football governing body, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sports, will secure land on which the facility will be set up while INEOS will fund construction works.
Once complete, the academy will have 2-3 sized grounds both synthetic and natural surfaces, some five a side pitches and a high performance centre, according to the plan.
It is understood that the centre will include amenities such as gym, a medical section, tutoring departments, offices, laundry, dining and social section, accommodation for up to 96 youngsters as well as security and administration facilities.
Ferwafa president Jean-Damascene Sekamana, who signed on behalf on his institution, hailed the partnership.
“We believe this is going to be a new foundation for football development in Rwanda. We thank INEOS for accepting to come and work with us,” he noted.
The proposed INEOS Football Academy will be the first of its kind in the country, and one of the very few in the region.
David Thompson, the chief executive of INEOS Football South Africa, welcomed the partnership, adding that the European chemical company is excited to embark on the “exciting” journey with Ferwafa to empower Rwandan youngsters through football.
“We want to give young footballers from Rwanda the opportunity to reach their full potential at a world-class facility in their home country.”
Football philosophy and training techniques at the proposed multi-million dollar academy will be a collaboration between Team Vaud/FC Lausanne Sport, a Swiss club owned and managed by INEOS, and Ferwafa.
The most exceptional talents between 17 and 18 years of age will be given a chance to complete two years of training and education in Lausanne, Switzerland, with a possibility of professional football.
This publication could not readily establish the cost of proposed academy, but a similar INEOS project undertaken in Botswana in 2017 cost US$12 million.