India Business
India Inc to support football: Sunil Mittal
Apr 16, 2007 - 7:51:01 PM

New Delhi, April 16 - Corporate India will wholeheartedly support football to help the nation graduate to the world level, Confederation of Indian Industry - vice president Sunil Mittal said here Monday.

'Corporate India will participate wholeheartedly and seriously in our common dream to see India on the world stage. We've our fixation with cricket but I believe soccer now has an opportunity that was never there before,' said Mittal at an interactive session with FIFA chief Joseph Blatter and the media organised by the CII.

'We are committed to taking a giant leap forward, to take Indian football forward. Given its nature, soccer is most appropriate for a nation where 54 percent of the population is below 25 years of age,' he said.

'The presence of the industry here is a clear indication of the support and soon you will see some major initiatives in this regard,' said Mittal, head of Bharti Enterprises.

The telecom tycoon said he had discussed ways to help Indian football with Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, president of the All India Football Federation -. Mittal added that some major announcements in this regard would be made soon.

'My interaction with Dasmunsi was good and hopefully we will see other companies coming out to support Indian football,' he said.

Essel group head Subhash Chandra also promised support to the game and said: 'I can assure Mr. Blatter that we would put up our hands together and kick ourselves to rise to the occasion.'

Industrialist Swapan Sadhan Bose, who is also the president of the Mohun Bagan Club, thanked the FIFA boss for 'showing a dream' and said the country needed more football academies to succeed at international level.

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