Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia has shown interest in Madhya Pradesh government's offer to start a football academy in Bhopal.
Bhutia while launching the India finals of Nike-Manchester United Premier Cup (MUPC) in Goa on Monday had expressed his desire to start an academy provided he gets 20-30 acres of land in any state.
In response, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday offered a 30-acre land to Bhutia for the academy within Bhopal or on the outskirts. He also directed the state sports director Sanjay Choudhary to take the initiative.
"After learning that Bhutia is looking for land for his academy, I asked the officials to contact the player, who now would like to pay a visit here shortly," Chouhan said.
He further said the country has ample talent in sport but there are shortage of resources. Chouhan added that the state government is promoting sports and has made a hefty budget allocation for it.
Choudhary told IANS Wednesday that he had spoken to Bhutia over telephone and the footballer is planning to come here to see the land offered.
"Bhutia has agreed to visit Bhopal either in February end or first week of March to take stock of situation and look at the piece of land being offered to him," he said.
"A plan is also being drafted in this regard keeping some sites in mind."
Earlier, Chouhan had announced financial support to the men's hockey team when they decided to boycott the national camp in Pune last month over payment delay issue. Later, the women's team also found an ally in Chouhan, during their protest on the same issue last month.