David Beckham will launch a football festival in Trinidad and Tobago this weekend to help boost England’s chances of staging the 2018 World Cup.
His visit coincides with the Under-17 Women’s World Cup final, which Fifa vice-president Jack Warner will attend. Beckham made the commitment to visit Trinidad when he met Warner at the World Cup finals draw in 2009. Warner holds one of the 24 votes on the Fifa committee, which names the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts in December.
Beckham’s academy will provide programmes and coaching sessions for 200 young players and coaches. The David Beckham Academy is an integral part of the England bid team’s legacy plans. The two organisations have committed to delivering a bespoke football and life skills project in each confederation each year until 2017 – if the bid is successful.
“It is heartening to know that a man of such international stature remains committed to the development of talent worldwide.
This is a remarkable opportunity for the 200 participants. The fact that, despite his busy schedule, David has taken the time to open this festival, to share his knowledge with the children, is testament to his character.”
Beckham will kick off six days of activity with the football festival at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Sunday.
“Trinidad and Tobago have produced some excellent players over the years and the islands are full of young people who love football.
I am really looking forward to seeing the young girls and boys from all backgrounds and their coaches at my academy.
Encouraging young girls to play football has always been an important part of the thinking behind the academy and it will be great to take this opportunity to also see some of the world’s best young women play in the under-17 final.”
Beckham is able to travel to Trinidad because of a break in his schedule with Major League Soccer team LA Galaxy
The hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will be revealed on 2 December.