Swedish football club Ostersund has agreed a major investment deal with the Libyan government which it claims is the biggest such agreement in the country’s history.
According to widespread reports in the Swedish media, Ostersund, which currently competes in the second-tier Superettan league, will receive over half a billion crowns (€57m/$77.4m) to develop Libyan footballers. “From a Swedish perspective, it is absolutely the biggest football-related deal that has been signed,” Daniel Kindberg, chairman of Ostersund, told Swedish newspaper Sportbladet.
The five-year deal, funded by the Libyan state, is set to see 60 players travel to the town, located around 460km north of Stockholm, where they will study as well as play football from March to November. This number will increase to 250 in the second year of the deal, with players involved in the agreement being between the ages of 18 and 20.
A delegation from Libya is said to have visited Ostersund in September and representatives from the club will fly next week to Libya to choose the initial 60 players. Kindberg added: “This broadens our base unbelievably. It means an awful, awful lot.”
Ostersund was founded in 1996 and has spent the majority of its existence in the third tier of Swedish football before being promoted to the Superettan in 2012. The club finished 10th in the 16-team league last season.