Sports Ministry lays ground for top English Premier League clubs to play in India

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6 Oct 2013
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To utilise the facilities developed for under-17 football World Cup in October, the government wants India to host matches between top Premier League clubs during their off-season. During his visit to the UK in July, Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas met English Premier League’s International Relations Manager Tim Vine and explored the possibility of bringing top English clubs to India.

According to Srinivas, “a number of states have shown keen interest in hosting Premier League matches”. Though the government wouldn’t be directly involved in any organisational aspect, it will provide all possible help to promoters who are keen to organise top EPL teams’ India tours. “It’s very much on the cards. The ministry will not be involved in conducting the matches, but we will encourage it,” said Srinivas.

Vine said they discussed their plans on “football development and fan engagement events”, while touching upon the Premier League Asia Trophy that was held in Hong Kong. “Our discussion last month focused more on PL activity in India — and how we are involved in bringing the clubs to India…,” he told The Indian Express in an email.

Meanwhile, Srinivas also met the director of UK’s Gambling Commission, Nick Tofiluk, as the Sports Ministry lays the groundwork to legalise online sports betting in India. The UK is one of the few countries where gambling is legal and has an annual turnover of £80 billion. The ministry has decided to have further talks with them on the challenges faced and framework adopted in legalising betting, and also study its applicability to Indian conditions.

Sports Ministry lays ground for top English Premier League clubs to play in India
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