Swedish club strikes gold with Libyan deal

STOCKHOLM Wed Jan 8, 2014 3:42pm EST

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish club Ostersund are to receive over half a billion crowns ($76 million) to educate Libyan footballers, local media reported on Wednesday.

"From a Swedish perspective, it is absolutely the biggest soccer-related deal that has been signed," Daniel Kindberg, chairman of Superettan (second-tier) side Ostersund, told Sportbladet.

Kindberg said the five-year deal, funded by the Libyan state, would bring 60 Libyan players to the town from the beginning of March to the end of November, increasing to 250 players in the second year.

The players will move to Ostersund, some 460 kilometers north of Stockholm, where they will study English, computers, sports management and sports administration as well as play football.

According to Sportbladet, a delegation from Libya visited the town in September 2013 and representatives from Ostersund will fly next week to Libya to choose the 60 players who will take part in the first year of the programme.

"This broadens our base unbelievably. It means an awful, awful lot," said Kindberg, whose Superettan budget is estimated to be around 22 million Swedish crowns per year.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor, editing by Ed Osmond) nL3N0KI439

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