Barcelona have announced an expansion plan for Kyrgyzstan, in the hope of unearthing talent and attracting new fans.
Part of the plan will see two new academies set up in the two cities of Jalal-Abad and Bishkek, in the hope of unearthing some talent that would otherwise have been missed.
Barca is going to be working with a football sports culture promotion company called JALSPORT, and it will be the first football school in central Asia.
Part of the experience is relating the brand to a new audience, and to do that there will be a Barça Store and a Barça Cafe established in Bishkek.
The Barca Legends game will kick off the agreement
To help launch the club in the area, Barcelona will be taking part in an exhibition game on the 30th of August, which will see a host of club legends compete against a ‘Legends of Asia’ team.
According to a report in Mundo Deportivo, here are some of the names you can expect to see in that game: Juliano Belletti, Ludovic Giuly, Ronald de Boer, Sergi Barjuan, Giovanni da Silva, Juan Carlos Rodríguez and Jon Andoni Goikoetxea.
Although central Asia is new territory for Barcelona, they do already have 10 established academies in Asia. 5 in Japan, 4 in India and 1 in Singapore.
While unearthing talent is always a bonus, the official objectives are a little more general. It’s about teaching the Barcelona methods when it comes to the technical and tactical side of football.
To encourage participation in sports and encourage kids from a young age to look after their diet, while also transmitting the values that FC Barcelona represents.
What’s football like in Kyrgyzstan?
Kyrgyzstan is a nation of 6.6 million people and football is the most popular sport in the country, it has its own league called the Kyrgyz Premier League which consists of 10 teams.
FC Dordoi Bishkek are the marquee team in Kyrgyzstan football having won the league on 13 occasions since it was founded in 1992.
The mens national team is currently ranked 97th in the world, sandwiched between Belarus (98) and Palestine (96) and the majority of the top players to come out of Kyrgyzstan have spent much of their time in Russia, like Valery Kichin, Karim Izrailov and Anton Kochenkov.
If this move brings more fans and as a result more money into the club, then nobody is going to be complaining based on our current financial plight.