The Brazilian Football School (EBF), center for physical education of the state of Rio de Janeiro, in the southeast Brazil, related to the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), has already received 270 foreign teenagers and youngsters for training.
The EBF, founded about one year ago, offers a sporting exchange program for athletes outside the country. Up to now three groups of Australians, each with 30 people, participated, as well as one from the United States, with 120 youngsters, and another from Japan, with 60 teenagers.
The exchange is offered for athletes in various levels, from children who are learning to play football to national teams. Among the three Australian groups received by the EBF, one was the country’s Futsal National Team. The school, according to the coordinator of the exchange program, Maurício Marques, is interested in receiving also Arab apprentices and players.
"I believe there is a lot of demand for it," says Marques. Training can be held in Portuguese, English or Spanish. If there is need for another language, like Arabic, interpreters are hired.
He explained that taking the program in Brazil is different than just taking a Brazilian professional to give training in the country.
"Here you can take in the atmosphere of Brazilian football," says the coordinator. The program is formatted according to the needs of each group. When the pupils are teenagers, for example, normally there will be trainings and lectures with local professionals, friendly matches with Brazilian teams and also outings to cultural and tourist points.
The groups normally stay at Granja Comary, in the city of Teresópolis in the highlands region of the state of Rio de Janeiro, which is where the Brazilian National Team also practices, or in hotels nearby.
In Granja Comary they have the opportunity of seeing Brazilian players, when they are training, and also to relate to the athletes in the country’s youth teams.
The EBF is in charge of the entire logistics of the player’s stay in the country. The youths are only responsible for the air ticket and health insurance.
A 15-day programme, for example, costs about US$ 1,800 per person, according to Maurício Marques. The exchange normally lasts between one week and a month. The money goes to the EBF itself. The participants of the exchange receive a certificate from the school.
The EBF was created as a part of a program of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) called Gol, which finances projects for developing the sport. It was the CBF that suggested the creation of the school.
As well as the exchange, the EBF offers other services, such as practical and theoretical courses in, for example, sporting administration, technical preparation and the medical area.
Anba – www.anba.com.br
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