Shell and FC Barcelona Foundation kick off youth football initiative in the Middle East

Shell and the charitable Football Club Barcelona Foundation have decided to enter a partnership to run football programmes in support of youth in Iraq, Oman and Qatar

The programme, named “Futbol Net” will be launched in 2013 by the FC Barcelona Foundation and will use sport to promote skills of teamwork, accountability and leadership in children between the ages of eight and seventeen.

Shell is running the program in Qatar in partnership with the Qatar Football Association to promote a healthy and active lifestyle in support of the Qatar National Vision 2030.

Shell’s Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, Mr. Mark Carne, FC Barcelona’s CEO, Mr. Antoni Rossich and FC Barcelona Foundation’s Executive Director, Mr. Josep Cortada, expressed their excitement at signing the agreement to deliver this innovative project.

“We use the universal language of football to instill values in children to help them in their development, be it on the pitch or in their communities” said FC Barcelona’s CEO, Mr. Antoni Rossich.

The partnership between Shell and FC Barcelona Foundation is the first of its kind in the Middle East. “FutbolNet” will operate at the grassroots level to empower youth and enhance their skills through a value-based coaching methodology.

A key driver for Shell to partner with FC Barcelona Foundation is the fact that the football club is not only globally recognized for its sporting excellence, but also for its unique social commitment.

“Shell is proud to be partnering with the FC Barcelona Foundation on this exciting initiative. This is about giving young people the life skills they need to succeed, in a region where youth unemployment is a serious challenge,” said Mark Carne.

The FC Barcelona Foundation has developed different programs using sports as a vehicle to promote positive values to children and teenagers all over the world. The FC Barcelona Foundation has international partnerships with different UN Agencies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Fundación Pies Descalzos and the Leo Messi Foundation."

Shell is one of the largest foreign investors in each of the countries where Futbol Net will operate. This partnership brings two very different enterprises together with a shared vision and shared values. Shell believes in creating opportunity for people in the community and we are excited about the potential of this programme to help young people build skills that will enhance their lives.

Shell and FC Barcelona Foundation are in the process of engaging with the relevant organizations and institutions in Iraq, Oman and Qatar to implement the initiative.