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Footbal in India gets German touch

The AIFF and the DFL have agreed to exchange managerial, technical and sporting know-how, reports Arjun Sen.

india Updated: Dec 13, 2006 01:16 IST
Arjun Sen
Arjun Sen

The All India Football Federation(AIFF) seem to have finally awakened from their slumber. In a first for the supreme body for the game in the country, the AIFF signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Deutsche Futball Liga (DFL), which runs football in Germany, for mutual benefit.

On Tuesday, AIFF General Secretary Alberto Colaco signed the MoU with DFL's Chief Operating Officer, Holger Hieronymus. The two bodies have agreed to exchange managerial, technical and sporting know-how.

Speaking at the signing, Hieronymus — who was a European Champions Cup winner with Hamburg in 1983 — said that though he has 'very little knowledge of Indian football,' he is sure that the MoU would be of help for the development of Indian football.

“Germany has a headstart over India in terms of organisation of the league, the marketing of clubs and the league, a dedicated team for creating and maintaining a supporter base and quality stadiums and

“I am sure that with the right kind of cooperation between the two countries, we both stand to gain,” Hieronymus said.

Although there is a feeling that the DFL chose India solely to market German football in India, it cannot be denied that marketing the game has become as important the game
If the DFL is indeed looking at India as a market for promoting the Bundesliga and sell merchandise, the federation in India should not be worried as long as the game in the country stands to gain.

“We realise that our league is not as popular as the Premier League or the Spanish League, but we feel that people in India should know about the clubs in Germany,” Hieronymus said.

First Published: Dec 13, 2006 01:16 IST