Samba magic comes to Asia
The magical ingredients that make Brazilian football so successful will soon be integrated into the game across Asia.
Coaches, referees, players, administrators, school teachers, students and clubs will have the opportunity to share the knowledge that has helped the South Americans win the FIFA World Cup a record five times.
Hong Kong-based sports promoter ProEvents and Brazil's national football authority - the Confederacao Brasileira de Futbol (CBF) - have formed a partnership to set up a school which will bring the country's respected experts to Asia.
'The school will be more than just a training clinic for children,' said Julian Kam of ProEvents, which has brought the Brazilian national team to Hong Kong, Malaysia and China in recent years.
'This will be about setting up a professional and well-planned structure. The aim is to transfer the Brazilian technical knowledge, training techniques and coaching and administration methods.'
CBF staff would share their expertise through regular seminars and conferences, he added. Moreover, CBF coaches would train their Asian counterparts, while scouts would make arrangements for talented children to hone their skills with clubs in Brazil.
'Brazilian football is not only about Ronaldo and Ronaldinho,' Kam said. 'It's about how they create talent, train their players and the administration. This project will educate Asians about the Brazilian way.'
The location of the new school - which will be called Escola Brasileira de Futebol (EBF) - has not yet been confirmed. Kam said he is negotiating with several national football associations. It could be Hong Kong, where ProEvents has an office, Singapore or Japan.
'The school will have a hub and funding will be provided to bring people there from around the region. We haven't decided where it will be yet. It could be Japan, Hong Kong or Singapore,' said Kam.
The project has been made possible thanks to FIFA's Goal programme, which allocates funds to every national football association to develop the game. Most countries use the money to upgrade facilities, or to set up training centres and football fields.
But Brazilians have all that already and have instead decided to use the funds to share their knowledge.