Arsenal and HAGL confirm Vietnam Academy deal

English Premier League club Arsenal and Vietnamese V-League club Hoang Anh Gia Lai have confirmed a technical and marketing partnership to develop the north London club’s presence in Asia. The partnership will lead to the establishment and operation of an Arsenal elite football academy in Vietnam, technical support for the HAGL football team and various commercial, marketing and business support for the Vietnamese club. Arsenal will also use the partnership as an opportunity to further develop club-related marketing and merchandising initiatives along with community outreach soccer school activities in Vietnam.

Keith Edelman, Arsenal Managing Director said ‘It is the first venture of its kind by any major football club into Vietnam, a territory which is renowned for its love of football and we are delighted to have found a partner who shares the same goals as us — to develop the local game at all levels and help provide the foundations for the Club to have a genuine presence in the region’.

Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger said "We try to extend Arsenal in many territories, but in a way where we can make a difference with our technical cooperation. Of course, we want to develop future talent but I also support the local benefits of a great project which gives a chance to young players who have a dream. Our venture in Thailand and now Vietnam will show us if it's true that with the same quality of work, Asian players are as capable of making a career in Europe where you have a selection of the best players in the world’.

Mr Duc, Chairman of Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC said ‘’We are delighted that such a prestigious and historic club as Arsenal is undertaking this joint venture with HAGL FC. Our club is looking forward to working with Arsenal to develop football in Vietnam and establish links which could in time open the door for Vietnamese players to play in England. Vietnamese football will greatly benefit from the experience and expertise of Arsenal and in turn Arsenal’s presence will expand in Asia through this partnership”.

The development of an Arsenal Academy in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai in conjunction with JMG will begin immediately on a 300 hectare site with the primary aim of developing the standard of football in the region. Academy players will also receive a high quality school education at the site. The structure mirrors the academies which Arsenal and JMG operate in Thailand and the one which Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Eboue attended in the Ivory Coast. Arsenal will invite HAGL technical staff to its Hertfordshire training centre to study training methods and in turn will send representatives to Vietnam for significant periods to impose best practices both on and off-field.