Bayern Munich say their decision to open a soccer school in Ethiopia was motivated by the abundant of young talents in the country and the passion of their fans for the sport.
"Two-thirds of the Ethiopian population is younger than 25 years. We will support the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) in terms of young development and coaches education programs," Holger Quest, team leader of media operations at FC Bayern Munich, told VOA.
The agreement saw Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soeder, other state officials and FC Bayern executive board members travel Ethiopia for the new phase in the club’s history.
Soeder told Ethiopian media the agreement would bring Bavarian expertise in football to the sports-hungry nation of Ethiopia.
"That is a good basis for a promising partnership," he said.
Bayern Munich have been keen on developing football across the globe lately, hence organised the International FC Bayern Youth Cup in Nigeria in 2018 and 2019, which offered young players the opportunity to display their talent.
"We want to share our knowledge to help football grow across all continents and nations," FC Bayern media head Quest said.
Speaking to VOA Horn by telephone from Addis Ababa, EFF President Esayas Jira said Ethiopia would benefit from the coaching and training to be offered by FC Bayern.
The soccer school would accept 30-40 young athletes ages of 8-10, with their training costs covered by Bayern Munich, Jira said.
"The kids would have a chance to join Bayern Munich youth academy" once they successfully completed school training," he added.
In the agreement, Bayern Munich said it would also finance the school training and education. FC Bayern coaches would lead youth coaches to train local players in Addis Ababa starting May 3, Jira told VOA.
FC Bayern's club mission states their programs help equip children with the tools to play football, and combines FC Bayern strategy of football with the lessons of “our philosophy and mentality, which typifies qualities like ambition, respect, 'fair play' and a strong team spirit that are beneficial both on and off the pitch."
When Bayern officials and Bavarian Prime Minister Soeder met with Ethiopia's first female president, Sahle-Work Zewde, to discuss the details of the agreement, they presented her with a Bayern Munich shirt with "Sahle-Work 1" on the back.
FC Bayern has also established football schools in China, Thailand, Japan, Singapore and the United States as well.