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New funding for Hungarian academy

The Hungarian Football Federation has found over €2m to secure its youth development scheme.

By Márton Dinnyés

The Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) has found over €2m in sponsorship to secure the future of a nationwide programme for fostering young talent in the country.

New name
Two of Hungary's biggest companies, OTP Bank and MOL (Hungarian Oil Co), have provided €2.2m in funding to keep the programme alive, under the new name, OTP Bank-MOL Bozsik Academy. György Mezey, the MLSZ's coach education chief, will continue as its technical director. The sponsorship deal was confirmed yesterday at the Ferenc Puskás stadium in Budapest.

Opportunity for children
The programme was established two years ago, and took its name from József Bozsik, one of the fabled 'Magical Magyars' of the 1950s. It involves hundreds of small competitions across the country, allowing as many children as possible the opportunity to take part in organised football - and also giving scouts from the MLSZ's technical centre a platform for assessing young talent.

Future in doubt
Through this process players have been selected for the national Under-17 team. However, its future had been in doubt after the Hungarian government hesitated over providing continued funding because of rising costs.