Zidane clear to begin building

French football legend Zinedine Zidane got the official stamp of approval Tuesday for a project to create a sports complex dedicated to urban football at Milles, near Aix-en-Provence, in southern France.

"It's a project that we've had for some time with my brothers and a friend for Marseille or the surrounding area," former FIFA World Cup™ winner Zidane said, explaining that the centre was expected to be ready in September of 2010.

"With the career I've had, I wanted to open something in the area to do with football and young people," said Zidane, who had originally hoped to open the centre in his native Marseille but failed to find a suitable site.

Aix-en-Provence deputy mayor Maryse Joissains added: "He (Zidane) is a symbol for the young of social mobility and the values of the Republic. He's going to work with youngsters to show that effort pays."

The centre, which can host 200 people, will be run in partnership with sports equipment and clothing giant adidas. Estimated to cost €4m it will include seven football areas, a central stadium, a fitness zone and a restaurant.