RIYADH: Talent scouts from Saudi and European football federations and clubs are among those watching the Kingdom’s Elite Championship for the Schools Football League for Boys as its fourth edition is held in the King Abdullah Sports City stadiums in Jeddah.
A total of 32 school teams are competing in the championships as part the national sports project implemented by the Ministry of Sports in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, to develop school sports and strengthen competition among students.
Talent scouts include a technical team from the Saudi Football Federation headed by Assistant Technical Director for Talent Scouting Affairs Saleh Al-Daoud, Badon Nicholas, Gilles Raphael and Stephen Silent, and a group of scouts affiliated with Saudi clubs.
French club Olympique Lyon; the Portuguese club Benfica; Spanish clubs Osasuna, Zamora, Leganes, Cadiz; the PSA Academy; the Macedonian club Raboten; and the Mexican club Atletico de San Luis have also sent scouts to the championships.
Al-Daoud said that the schools league project is beneficial to Saudi football and its future.
“This huge national cooperative project between the ministries of sports and education is the real beginning for the football player, and it is the real start for every player,” he said.
“The Saudi Football Federation is keen to follow the players through scouts, whether Saudis or foreigners, in the upcoming training gatherings, and this is a great opportunity for the player to prove himself and present all his capabilities."
Al-Daoud thanked Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, minister of sports, for his interest and support for the schools league project and added: “The importance of its continuation for the next 10 years to be the main base for supporting clubs and national teams with talents.”
The schools league project management held a workshop in partnership between the ministries of sports and education for coaches of the school teams participating in the championship.
A training course was also held in cooperation with the Saudi Football Association for coaches of school league teams.