Sports

Competitions provide fans
chance to meet Messi

Indonesian soccer fans, particularly fans of FC Barcelona, will have the chance to meet the Spanish club’s star and world number one Lionel Messi during the team’s ASEAN tour.

Those fortunate fans will be picked through futsal (indoor soccer) and individual supporter competitions, participation in which requires the purchase of shampoo product Head and Shoulders.

Those two competitions mark the expected long-term partnership between Procter and Gamble (P&G), producer of the anti-dandruff shampoo with Barcelona FC following the appointment of Messi as the shampoo’s global brand ambassador.

“Barcelona and P&G has something in common regarding how they groom young talent from the start and grow up together. It’s in line with our vision,” Mohammed Ismail, president director of P&G Indonesia, told a press conference here on Wednesday.

To participate in the futsal competition, a futsal team comprising 10 players and a manager has to buy 10 bottles of the product at a designated retail outlet.

The supporter participants are required to express — through the organizers’ Facebook page from May 1-31 — why they should be deemed number-one fan.

As many as 32 futsal teams will take part in the competition, with the top six teams going to meet Messi and fellow Barcelona players during their ASEAN tour in August.

“Barcelona believes this partnership will inspire all our fans in ASEAN, especially in Indonesia, where we have one of our biggest fan bases in the world,” FC Barcelona CEO Antoni Rossich said.

Rossich also announced that Barcelona’s website was now available in Bahasa Indonesia.

Barcelona is slated to hold their ASEAN tour in Thailand on Aug. 7 and Malaysia on Aug. 10.

The supporters of the futsal teams may participate in the individual supporters’ competition in which the contestants have to assert why they are Messi’s number-one fan, and why they need to meet Messi, in a short video uploaded to the Facebook page. Only one supporter video will be declared the winner.

FC Barcelona has partnered with UNICEF since 2006 and the club has reportedly contributed ¤1.5 million (US$1.95 million) annually to support UNICEF’s work improving the lives of children through sport and education.

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