Shillong, Oct 1: Bollywood actor John Abraham and owner of Indian Super League (ISL) franchise NorthEast United FC, John Abraham on Monday said that Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has promised to help his football club look for land here to start the club’s academy.
“I spoke to the chief minister, Conrad Sangma and he is going to help me look out for land so that I can start my academy for NEUFC here as well so I am excited about it so he’s going to do anything for me before the 2022 National Games,” John told reporters.
Meghalaya will be hosting the National Games 2022 coinciding with the 50th year of the creation of the state.
John accompanied Nita Ambani, founder-chairperson of Reliance Foundation to witness the finals of the inter-school girl’s football match played between Nongkrem Presbyterian Secondary School and Nongkrem Higher Secondary School at Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex at the Polo Grounds.
Sangma, his wife Mehtab Agitok Sangma, Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh Mawphlang, All India Football Federation Vice President Larsing Ming Sawyan were also present.
“Depend on when he meets me next, when we can sit and have the meeting identify a place to start an academy. The idea is to train children – boys and girls – educate them, boarding, housing, lodging, and everything so it’s a serious business,” John said.
“The (academy) idea is to open it up all over but we have got one where they are starting in Guwahati, now Shillong and we want to do something in Imphal, Aizawl and so on and so forth and look everywhere else to all the seven sisters and the one brother,” he added.
On his club’s partnership with Shillong United FC, John simply said, “that is over” and refused to elaborate further.
Asked about his expectation about NorthEast United FC performance in the Indian Super League, John said: “Last year was very disappointing I was sad we had to let our coach go in the middle of the season we are hoping for a better season. Honestly, if you ask me I have zero expectation I just wanna go out there and play. Let’s play well and then let’s see. It’s easy for me to save things for you all to perform on the field.”
“I think what Ambani (Nita) is doing through Reliance Foundation Youth Sports is absolutely fantastic. It required for private enterprise to come and do this and its fantastic and we are really grateful to her for investing into the youth and into sports for that is the future of the country.”