The All India Football Federation (AIFF) Senior Vice-President Subrata Dutta concluded his four-day visit to Germany on Thursday, February 1. Mr. Dutta attended SPOBIS 2018, Europe’s leading sports business meet, in Düsseldorf, Germany on January 30 and 31 to address key decision makers on the current state of Indian football, besides meeting leading football officials.
Subrata Dutta shared his views on the current state of Indian football and the opportunities for European clubs and federations on the Indian subcontinent during an exclusive Q&A Session on the SPOBIS stage on Tuesday, January 30. Mr. Dutta made clear that India has a huge potential and that European clubs need to have a genuine long-term plan, if they would like to be successful in India. He urged European clubs to consider India as a serious market as part of their internationalization plans, but underlined that any sort of cooperation and strategy need to be mutually beneficial.
“It was a wonderful experience and I never expected so much. I could meet the who’s who of world football at SPOBIS. It’s a huge conference attended by thousands of football officials from all over the world. The conference went on very well and I learned a lot. I’m returning to India with a lot of new information, knowledge and experiences,” Mr. Dutta told about his visit to SPOBIS 2018.
Speaking about the Q&A Session, the AIFF Senior Vice-President said: “The session went really well. I could inform the audience about Indian football. I told them that Indian football has never been so good.”
“I told the audience at SPOBIS that the Indian football lovers follow the European leagues, especially the younger generation. There is a lot of enthusiasm about the European leagues, clubs and players. India is a ready market for them to explore and I’m quite sure that the leagues and clubs would benefit of entering the Indian market.”
The Indian delegation which composed of Subrata Dutta, Arunava Chaudhuri, Chris Punnakkattu Daniel and Krish Roy held meetings with leading German football figures including Dr. Friedrich Curtius (General Secretary, DFB), Oliver Bierhoff (National Team Director & Football Development, DFB), Oliver Mintzlaff (CEO, RB Leipzig), Bernd Wilms (Head of International Relations, DFL – Bundesliga) and Carsten Cramer (Director of Sales & Marketing, Borussia Dortmund) to discuss Indian football, knowledge transfer and evaluate opportunities for future cooperation and strategies.
“The meetings were all very fruitful and they are all very much willing to help India and to join hands with us,” Mr. Dutta stated. “I was surprised that they are so much willing to know and help Indian football. They were proactive in the discussions. They asked the pertinent questions and they extended the helping hand.”
Talking about the meetings, Chris Punnakkattu Daniel said: “We had constructive and fruitful discussions with several officials. I’m happy to see that German football is willing to help India to develop football and to take the Indo-German football relations to a new level. We could see their honest interest to learn about the current state of Indian football and how the DFB, the Bundesliga and their clubs can play a vital role in the future.”
“I would like to thank SPONSORs Verlag for hosting Subrata Dutta and our Indian delegation at the SPOBIS 2018 in Düsseldorf. SPOBIS is an excellent platform to reach out to the key decision makers in Europe. I hope we can further strengthen the ties and bring Indian football to the stage once again in 2019,” Punnakkattu Daniel added.
Arunava Chaudhuri meanwhile added, “The idea of having Subrata Dutta come to speak and attend the SPOBIS 2018 in Düsseldorf was to give Indian football a platform at Germany and Europe’s biggest sports conference. If I see the interest in our session alongside the meetings and interactions then it was a huge success. Now the follow-ups need to happen for knowledge transfer and further interactions.”
“SPOBIS 2018 was a platform to enhance and strengthen the ties between India and Germany. The foundations have been laid, now the follow-up need to happen.”
SPOBIS is organised by Hamburg-based SPONSORs Verlag, the leading German-language provider of information in the sports business industry. It has established itself as Europe’s leading sports business meet since its launch 20 years ago. SPOBIS 2018 welcomed 3.000+ delegates, who attended more than 50 hours of panels and master classes.