Forward pass for Indian football in presence of Mukesh Ambani

The All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) will see its fortunes turn as IMG Worldwide – Reliance joint venture draw a bead on pushing the game of football high on popularity charts. Fueling the process is the chairman of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) – Mukesh Ambani- who spent close to three hours at the AIFF’s executive committee meeting held in Mumbai on Saturday to discuss and analyze the game’s overture, in a presentation by the JV’s associates.

IMG-Reliance have tied up with the AIFF for a 15 year sponsorship and marketing rights deal of all football tournaments and activities organized by the AIFF, including all the commercial rights to the national team and the I-League.

In his gallant effort to push the game high on vogue, Mukesh Ambani expressed his views vociferously about popularizing the game in the country and the need to plan development programmes and strategies for India to mark its big step in international football arena at the earliest. 

Besides Mukesh Ambani, present at the meeting were AIFF president Praful Patel, general secretary Kushal Das, I-League CEO Sunando Dhar, AIFF vice-presidents Subrata Datta and Joaquim Alemao and the marketing team from the IMG-Reliance association.  The discussion focused on ways to make this budding sport more viable, popular and commercial. In a cricket savvy country, surging a sport to top slots, if not insurmountable, is a difficult task. The aim, then, would be bringing football to popular attention of people by making it look more spectator-friendly and trendy. The meeting also discussed identification of possible grounds for development and subsequent long-term leasing of the same.

Mukesh Ambani spoke of 2022 Football World Cup to be held in Qatar, and noted that it necessary to keep in mind the available time-frame to develop the outlook of sport to make it more appealing, attractive and marketable. He noted that by associating India it to the likes of English Premier League (EPL) and making the sport a ‘TV product’ would increase the commercial value associated with football in the country.