Real Madrid to help build youth soccer academy in Jamaica

Nine-time European club champion Real Madrid intends to help build a training academy for youngsters in a western Jamaican parish, a team official said in a Tuesday statement.

The academy will focus on children 7-to-15 years old, according to Carlos Abella, director general of the Real Madrid Foundation. He said much of the money to build the facility will come from several Spanish companies, including Iberostar.

Former Jamaican national team goalkeeper Aaron Lawrence will manage the training academy, which is to be built in Rose Hall, a tourist community in rural St. James parish.

The statement did not say when construction was expected to start.

"The academy will improve Jamaica's soccer," said Burchell Gibson, spokesman of the Jamaican Football Federation.