Liverpool set up academy in Indonesia

JAKARTA - Liverpool will set up a youth academy in Indonesia, their first outside Europe, as the Premier League football side seek to increase their global commercial presence, the club said on Friday.

Working with the British Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia, Liverpool aim to train children in the world's fourth most populous country, which is football-mad but has yet to see its national team succeed at an international level.

Liverpool brought their most decorated player Phil Neal to launch the academy in the capital Jakarta, the club statement said.

Neal is scheduled to meet Indonesia's foreign minister Marty Natalegawa, himself a Liverpool fan, in a dinner on Saturday hosted by bank Standard Chartered, which does much of its business in Asia and in 2009 signed a four-year shirt sponsorship deal with Liverpool worth a reported $131 million.

Liverpool has a large Asian fan base and will go on tour to China, Malaysia and South Korea in July but not to Indonesia.

Liverpool have been revived under new boss Kenny Dalglish and will secure a place in the Europa League if they win against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Dalglish signed a three-year contract as Liverpool manager on Thursday.