Rabu, 10 Oktober 2012

WIFA signs Rs 100-crore deal with Sporting Ace to develop football in Maharashtra!

The Western Indian Football Association, who run and organise football in Maharashtra, has entered into a strategic partnership with Sporting Ace Private Limited (SAPL) and they have come-up with an ambitious and dynamic blueprint to develop and grow football in the state with development and promotion plans rolling out simultaneously in all the districts of Maharashtra.

This historic partnership between WIFA and SAPL will see an infusion of around Rs 100 crore (1 Billion) for a period of 10 years, with the funds being used to aggressively promote the sport at the grassroots level, grow the bank of young football players, increase the number of certified coaches, spread gratification in cash and kind, spread football to every nook and corner of the state, bring football of the highest standard through the revival and creation of aspirational tournaments and ensure that every youngster will have a realistic chance of reaching the pinnacle of the beautiful game.

The partnership was announced at a press conference in Mumbai today in the presence of WIFA Vice-Presidents – Dr. Vishwajeet Kadam, Maloji Raje Chatrapati, Liaiqaut Hussain and Sunil Dhande. Representing SAPL were Managing Director Sagar Pol Chowdhury plus Directors Zulfikar Mohammed and Kingshuk Gupta, while also present were WIFA Honorary Secretary Souter Vaz and WIFA CEO Henry Menezes.

The initiatives outlined under the partnership between WIFA and SAPL includes the biggest talent hunt in Asia, The Mahayudh - targeting over 5,000 teams and around 50,000 players from across Maharashtra, revival of the prestigious 122 year old Rovers Cup, besides aggressive programs for Coach and Referee education with the objective of creating 5,000 certified coaches and 1,000 certified referees within the next three years.

"Nearly one year of research and ideating with extensive fact-finding trips throughout the various affiliated districts, has been undertaken before both WIFA and SAPL came-up with a blue print that has been deemed to be achievable. Earlier while most development plans would revolve around the bigger cities, first-hand information has made it clear that football is very popular in all the districts of Maharashtra and enjoys a huge following amongst the younger generation. This interest only needs to be channelized in the right direction, with the best facilities and just rewards awaiting those who excel. This is what the partnership between WIFA and SAPL is confident of achieving," said Souter Vaz, WIFA Honorary Secretary.

"We believe in WIFA's vision and commitment towards developing and growing football in Maharashtra. A lot of man hours have gone into coming up with a vision that is definitely ambitious but at the same time realistic. At SAPL we are confident that this historic partnership will galvanise and inspire more and more youngsters to play the sport of football with much more passion and commitment as there is a bright future awaiting all those who share this vision," said Sagar Pol Chowdhury, Sporting Ace MD.

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