Indian Super League team Odisha Football Club has just signed a historic agreement with the British group India Business Group (IBG) to consolidate commercial relations between India and the United Kingdom. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) means that the club and IBG will work towards better health, social and economic benefits for the diverse communities of Odisha.
“It’s really exciting for India-UK relations”, said IBG President Professor Lord Patel of Bradford. “We know the success of the IPL (Indian Premier League), and the football league has huge ambitions to reflect that. Odisha is at the forefront of these efforts. India is a nation that loves sport, and working with clubs like Watford FC and having Spanish legends by their side is Odisha FC’s message of intent. But never forget that football is a global business and communities will thrive when trade agreements will be made for their benefit. “
“IBG’s expertise in having one foot in both halves means that we will be able to advise, initiate and cement relationships that will embody in mind and action Prime Minister Modi’s vision of a living bridge between our two great nations. “
Lord Patel, former vice-chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Council (ECB), believes this new connection will create opportunities.
“We know that sport is a universal way to help people”, He continued. “It’s great for mental and physical health, but it’s also been shown to find, nurture and produce talented individuals and teams.If a person, in a team, in a club is successful, then we’ve seen how businesses, politicians and economists support them to ensure greater fiscal, community and societal success. “
Earlier this year, Odisha FC appointed Coventry-born business and sports consultant Mr Raj Athwal as chairman. Athwal brings with him decades of work with top English and Scottish football clubs and coaches.
“Football is more than two rival teams fighting to win a match “, he said. “We only have to look at Manchester United and England star Marcus Rashford to know that footballers are doing great things for their communities in which they are invested. They are seen as role models and young people want to copy their heroes, and we have seen non-British men and women come and play for British clubs and vice versa.
As India’s Founding Father Mahatma Gandhi said, we can be change, and Odisha FC wants to change the lives of the 47 million people who live in this wonderful state. Odisha’s reputation for investing in sports is well known. It was the first state in India to sponsor the national men’s and women’s hockey teams. The state’s political leaders are behind Odisha FC’s ambitious plans.
The vision of the Chief Minister of State, Shri Naveen Patnaik, helped the state launch a model of partnership and high performance centers that gained national attention. The Chief Minister always says: “Sport for young people, young people for the future”. And, under his leadership, the state government’s sports department has worked hard to create a positive ecosystem for the growth and development of different sports disciplines across the state.
Mr. R Vineel Krishna, Special Secretary to the Chief Minister of Odisha and Commissioner – cum – Secretary, Department of Sports and Youth Services, Government of Odisha, said: “I am glad to know about the partnership between Odisha FC and India Business Group. Odisha has an attractive investment policy, and we would welcome potential investors to the state. The state government will facilitate investment in accordance with current policy. “
For several years, IBG has brought together British and Indian companies, creating fruitful partnerships that he believes he can emulate in Odisha. “ODisha Football Club is delighted to have signed this strategic partnership with UK-based India Business Group “, said owner Dr Anil Sharma, founder and CEO of GMS.
“Our shared values, passion and mutual interest in embracing the power of sport as a global gateway for education, health, wellness and entrepreneurship in India and with India make this collaboration important for Odisha State, which is emerging as the sports capital of India. “
This enthusiasm is shared by the British government in India.
Nick Low, UK Deputy High Commissioner for East and North East India, said: “The UK-India relationship has entered a decade of transformation which will see much greater cooperation. deeper and broader in areas that matter to both nations.
“Our living bridge between our peoples has a crucial role to play as we embark on this ambitious journey together. This collaboration between IBG and Odisha FC promises benefits for our communities here and in Britain.”
Odisha is famous for its mineral deposits and for the discovery of ancient treasures. Now he plans to uncover new diamonds, this time in the form of future football stars. Odisha FC has pledged to invest in its communities, organizing open trials, football camps and outreach work for boys and girls. Its football academy will provide them with vocational training, education and social skills.
“If I have learned one thing in my vast experience in this beautiful game, it is that through the fundamental pillars of nutrition, mental health, gender equality and exercise, we will support and educate the diverse communities of Odisha “, said Athwal.
“In doing so, I think we can create employment opportunities for local communities to be not only part of the club but also of society. Imagine if Odisha could find her Cristiano Ronaldo, and they end up playing for Watford. , Manchester United or Liverpool, how awesome that would be? Stop and think about that, and you know what a wonderful once in a lifetime opportunity it is. ”