(MENAFN - Arab News) Riyadh Gov. Prince Salman held talks in Riyadh with Real Madrid football club's president Florentino Perez on Wednesday regarding the construction of a sports academy in Riyadh.
Two weeks ago, the Spanish football giant signed an agreement with the Prince Salman Charitable Housing Society in Madrid to explore new areas of cooperation in the field of sports.
The Real Madrid Foundation is the club's social outreach arm. It develops a number of educational, welfare, sports and cultural programs. On Tuesday, Perez inaugurated a sports academy in Abu Dhabi.
During the meeting, the pair discussed the details of the partnership agreement signed in Madrid by Prince Khalid bin Salman, deputy chairman of the Prince Salman Society. The agreement focuses on sports and social activities in Riyadh and allows both parties to develop nonprofitable programs and divert proceeds to the society as well as the Real Madrid Foundation. The academy is to provide free training for children.
Perez, who is also head of Spanish construction giant ACS, inspected the site of the proposed academy on Wednesday and also visited the headquarters of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee and the Saudi Football Federation later in the day.
The meeting was attended by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, special adviser to the Riyadh governor; Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Farhan, the Kingdom's representative of the Real Madrid Foundation; Abdulaziz Al-Masood, secretary general of the Prince Salman Charitable Housing Society and Spanish Ambassador Pablo Bravo.
In May 2009, Real Madrid played an exhibition match against Al-Nassr in Riyadh. It was the final match for Al-Nassr's captain Maged Abdullah before he retired.
Six months later, Real Madrid extended its connections with the Kingdom through a sponsorship deal with telecoms company STC.
As part of the deal, STC was given the right to use 12 minutes of every game Real Madrid played at home for the next four seasons for promotional purposes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Indonesia.
Other features included the Spanish club training 70 young Saudis during the summer season as well as providing trips to attend matches, locally or internationally, for subscribers to the Real Madrid mobile service.
Real Madrid is one of the richest football clubs in the world.
By MD Rasooldeen