AIFF invites United, Barca, Bayern for Dubai meet

The AIFF has invited top European clubs like Manchester United, FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich to attend its ambitious meeting with probable investors in Dubai on March 31 and provide technical expertise to corporate-owned sides in I-League.

The All India Football Federation is eyeing investors based in the the Middle East to establish football teams. These teams will get direct entry into the I-League in return for their investment in infrastructure and youth development.

“We have written to the top Eurpean clubs, inviting them to attend the meeting,” a top AIFF official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

“They can either tie up with a top club who can provide them technical assistance or enter as a standalone entity,” the official added.

Sources close to the national football body claimed that some of the clubs might turn up for the meeting, which will be attended by AIFF president Praful Patel, general secretary Kushal Das and other top officials.

The federation’s ambitious plan to rope in at least two corporate-owned sides into the I-League received a good initial response with 30 companies turning up at a meeting with AIFF officials earlier this month.

Besides Sahara Group and GMR, who own IPL teams Pune Warriors and Delhi Daredevils respectively, the other corporates include Pune-based Venky’s, the owners of Blackburn Rovers.

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