Actor and owner of Indian Super League (ISL) franchise, North East United FC (NEUFC), John Abraham is likely to set up a world-class football academy here. Abraham said this to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at the Brahmaputra State Guest House during a meeting on Tuesday and Sonowal has assured him of all support for setting up the football academy. Sonowal informed the NEUFC owner that the state government has accorded top priority to development of sports in Assam. “We are resolutely working to make Guwahati the sports capital of the country. Our government has given priority to strengthening sports infrastructure and organising international sports events to boost this claim,” Sonowal said.
Sonowal added that the football academy proposed to be set up by Abraham would immensely help the aspiring footballers of the state and his government would provide all support and land for setting up the academy. He said that the government has taken up initiatives to identify talented sportspersons to improve their skills and urged Abraham to take forward the Assam government’s efforts to strengthen ties with the Asean countries through sports. The Chief Minister also highlighted the steps taken by the state government for implementation of the Act East Policy to boost trade and commerce and cultural relations with the South-East Asian countries so that Guwahati can emerge as India’s gateway to that region. Abraham while expressing his keen desire to set up the football academy also assured the Chief Minister that he would take all necessary steps to ensure the participation of players from the Asean countries in sports activities in Guwahati next year.
He also informed the Chief Minister about his willingness to work for the promotion and growth of tourism and culture of Assam including Assamese cinema. The Bollywood actor said that he would arrange for screening the premier show of a film based on the storyline of the Pokhran nuclear test in February next year in Guwahati.