Madonna has plans to open a soccer academy in Malawi, a move inspired by her adopted son David Banda, who has ambitions to be a professional player and is at Portuguese club Benfica’s youth academy.
The ‘Queen of Pop’ follows 12-year-old David’s progress in Portugal closely, living in Lisbon and often posting photos and video from the sidelines of his games.
“It is actually David’s idea that we should build a football academy,” Madonna said on a recent visit to Malawi, where she adopted four of her six children, including David, and where she’s done extensive charity work.
Madonna, who turned 60 on Thursday, floated the soccer academy idea in the southern African country last month, prompting the national association to respond enthusiastically.
“We are very excited with this window of opportunity that has arisen,” Malawi Football Association president Walter Nyamilandu told The Associated Press. “It will complement our efforts to establish football academies in the country.”
The association has already offered Madonna a piece of land next to the national soccer stadium in the capital, Lilongwe, Nyamilandu said.
“We presented our proposal of the academy to Madonna and they are satisfied with it,” he said.
Madonna’s work in Malawi, through the Raising Malawi charity, focuses on helping orphaned and vulnerable children. The charity has built orphanages, schools and a specialist pediatric hospital unit. It’s given some attention to the little-known and impoverished nation.