Spanish soccer club Real Madrid will establish a soccer training school in Colombia’s northern town of Fundacion, where a bus tragedy left 32 children dead last May, national media reported Thursday.
Spain’s Real Madrid, the world’s most valuable soccer club according to Forbes magazine, will build a soccer training facility in Fundacion, a town that is grieving for the loss of 32 children killed in a bus tragedy, El Heraldo reported.
Fundacion’s mayor, Luz Estella Duran, who was informed of Real Madrid’s initiative by the Minister of Transport, said that there is no established date for the project yet and that the Spanish club “only said that it will happen when the World Cup comes to an end,” El Heraldo reported.
According to El Heraldo, the school is to receive children aging between five and 14 years, and there is a possibility that the training will take place on the Rafael Castaneda stadium, which is located diagonally from the location that the tragedy occurred.
The tragedy occurred on May 18, when a bus transporting children back from church caught fire. Although a few children managed to escape, the majority of young passengers on board burned to death. The total number of victims killed was 33.
While authorities are still investigating the cause of the fatal accident, one witness told French press agency AFP that the driver had walked away from the vehicle to buy a drink and asked the children to put gas in the vehicle, after which the bus caught fire. Initial reports suggested a mechanical failure caused the fire.
The bus driver, without a driver’s license and an outstanding traffic fine of $250, reportedly surrendered to authorities after initially fleeing the scene of the tragedy.
Mayor Duran told El Heraldo that she will support Real Madrid’s initiative in every way she can, stating that “the intention is for children to get the opportunity to train as players from a young age.”
This is not the first time the Spanish club sponsored charity projects in Colombia. The Real Madrid Foundation’s social-sporting schools have sponsored and founded different schools across Colombia.
- Real Madrid construirá escuela de fútbol en Fundación (El Heraldo)
- Real Madrid (Forbes)
- Fundación Real Madrid Socio-sporting Schools in Colombia (Real Madrid Official Webpage)