A Football Academy in Idlib under the Name “AC Milan”

The first school championship in Idlib governorate (Syrian Sports and Youth Authority)

The first school championship in Idlib governorate (Syrian Sports and Youth Authority)


The “AC Milan” Sports Academy, the first of its kind in the northern countryside of Idlib for years, has received applications to start its activities after the end of Ramadan.

About two months ago, the “Sports and Youth Authority” in Idlib governorate established a sports academy under the management of the former professional of the Syrian Omayya Raed Abboud; he called it “AC Milan” after the ancient Italian team which he highly admires.

The founders of the academy are seeking to “create a professional sports generation in an effort to achieve the ambition of the talented young people who love the world’s most popular game,”Raed Abboud, the Academy Director, told Enab Baladi.

Abboud added that the academy will be under the supervision of academic trainers and specialists and will be following a high-level technical and physical training program in both theory and practice, through which he aims to develop the players’ mental and physical abilities and to help them show their full potential.

The “AC Milan” Academy welcomes 5 to 16 years old participants; it might also receive players with a maximum age of 22 years according to Abboud.

Due to the Syrian war, sports in general and football in particular are suffering a major rift and fragmentation between the areas controlled by the opposition and others controlled by the regime, leading to the opposition held area’s absence from important sports events and forums.

The academy’s supervisors aim to “instill educational, social, health, cultural and sports- related concepts in the minds of the participants, based on respect for the other, coaches and supervisors, through effort and commitment to work and time and to refine and improve the players’ ethics,” according to Abboud.

Special training will be offered to the age group between 16 and 22 years to players wishing to develop themselves, after it became difficult for them to enter the field of football because of their age.

The Academy seeks to be the “second family” of the participants, “by strengthening the links and relationships between coaches and players and between the players themselves.”

Abboud said that the private academy was established because “the current situation is precarious. We started the move with the Football Association and a group of good young people to develop football in the liberated areas in Northern Syria.”

“We are all trying to develop the sports field and push it beyond the limits, but there are a lot of problems that relate to the internal situation in the region,” he added.


Who Is Raed Abboud?

Raed Abboud is a Syrian footballer born in Sarmin. He became professional by playing for Omayya club. He played in Sarmin’s club and then moved to Omayya, where he kept developing to the point where he started playing for its official team since 2003 to the end of 2011.

Raed Abboud was called to the Olympic team in 2007, but he said that “to participate he needed to have a lot of connections, so he preferred to move away.”

Abboud abandoned sports at the beginning of the Syrian revolution in 2011, and moved to training Omayya club, with which he won the league that was held in northern Syria. He finally chose to establish the private academy to complete his football journey.

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