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UK DIT to hold football conference in partnership with Star Sports

MUMBAI: The UK Department for International Trade (DIT), together with India on Track (IOT) and the Premier League, will bring key British and Indian football clubs, sports organisations and businesses together at the second ‘Football Movement’ conference in Mumbai.

The football conference, which takes place on 2 and 3 March, will give a platform to clubs, businesses and experts from India and the UK to interact and explore commercial opportunities in the sport.

The Football Movement, jointly hosted by India On Track, is being held in partnership with the Premier League’s Indian broadcast partner Star Sports. This two-day conference will feature keynote speakers including Richard Scudamore, executive chairman of the Premier League, St John Gould, director for UK Trade and Economics, India at the British High Commission, and senior representatives of the Indian Super League and Premier League clubs.

Panel sessions, workshops and keynote speeches will provide a platform for UK and Indian businesses to discuss potential opportunities and the sustainability of the game in India’s emerging football sector.

A delegation of UK businesses and top British football clubs are participating in the conference as part of DIT’s ‘Sport is GREAT’ campaign. The delegation includes top football companies such as Amaven, Alad, Baltic Publications, Final Third Sports Media, PwC, Deltatre, AVC Immedia, Barriers International India, Steer Davies Gleave and senior management from the following clubs; Arsenal, Southampton, Everton, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford and Charlton Athletic.

The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Strengthening the Football Ecosystem in India’. It will focus on the broader aspects of the game, with a view to assessing the current landscape in greater detail. The conference seeks to address the core pillars of modern-day football such as commercial sustainability, youth development, leagues and competitions, broadcasting, support services as well as the role of corporates through CSR.

St. John Gould, director for UK Trade and Economics, India at the British High Commission, New Delhi, will deliver the welcome address at the conference, which will be attended by distinguished panellists and speakers, including industry leaders, policymakers, investors and pioneers in the field of commerce of football, from both India and the UK.

“At the Premier League, we and our clubs are committed to supporting the development of all levels of Indian football. At the top end of the sport, we have a cooperation agreement with the Indian Super League, and at grassroots level our Premier Skills programme works across the country to provide opportunities for local coaches and referees to take AIFF accredited courses. The Football Movement conference will provide a great platform for us to discuss with other football bodies and businesses how we might work together to further grow all elements of the sport. I am looking forward to attending.”

“Football is at an inflection point in India driven by a passionate and young fan base. The deep fan affinity for the Premier League and the mass following of the Indian Super League all point to a great future for the sport in India. Our vision of a day when Indian fans would have their own homegrown heroes to follow is soon going to be a reality. The ‘Football Movement’ is a great opportunity for stakeholders from across the ecosystem to unify and collaborate to take football in India to fulfil that vision,” said Star India MD Sanjay Gupta, the Premier League’s official broadcast partner in India, who will also be speaking at the event.

The Indian delegates will get an opportunity to meet English footballing legend and the Premier League’s all-time top goal scorer (260 Premier League goals), Alan Shearer, who will present a special address at the conference.