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The competition will bring together athletes with great cultural diversity, in what will be a very enriching personal and competitive experience.

The competition will bring together athletes with great cultural diversity, in what will be a very enriching personal and competitive experience. | Santi Garcés / FCB

The FC Barcelona football schools located in the Asia-Pacific region have an exclusive international tournament in which to take part from January of 2019. The Barça Academy Asia Pacific Cup, which will bring together more than 500 boys and girls from the ages of 7 to 15, will be held from January 24 to 27 at the Barça Academy Delhi facilities at the Gurgaon Heritage School, a top-level sports complex.

The competition will bring together athletes with great cultural diversity, in what will be a very enriching personal and competitive experience for the participants, since players from the four Barça Academy schools in Japan (Shinagawa Oimachi, Fukuoka, Katsushika and Nara), the three from India (Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore), the three in China (Barça Academy Pro Haikou and the schools of Chengdu and Qingdao), two from Australia (Sydney and Brisbane), and those in Singapore and Dubai will all be involved. Barça Academy Egypt will also participate due to geographical proximity and, as is customary in regional tournaments, Barça Escola Barcelona will also take part in the competition.

The facilities that the Barça Academy Delhi use at the Gurgaon Heritage School have held large international events, including being the training headquarters for the Colombian and Indian national teams last year in their preparations for the Under-17s World Cup. For the Barça Academy Asia Pacific Cup, three natural grass pitches and two artificial pitches will be used.

The tournament will be played in four categories, with regulations and specific durations for each. The athletes in the Under-9s category will compete in a 5-a-side format in 30-minute matches, while the Under-11s and Under-13s will compete in 7-a-side games lasting 40 minutes. The Under-15s will also field teams of 7 players in games lasting 50 minutes.

In addition to the competition, the organisers have also planned a series of activities so that the experience in India is a complete one. Indian culture and tradition will be prominent in the opening and closing ceremonies, and different activities have also been planned, including traditional yoga and meditation sessions, guided tours through Delhi and a visit to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

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