An Indian business house with a stake in youth football may just have pulled off a great move. The AMM Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Murugappa Group and German football club Borussia Dortmund (BVB) on Friday announced a partnership to develop football in India.
Incidentally, Borussia Dortmund is in pole position to lift the Bundesliga title, as it leads powerhouse Bayern Munich by two points, with both teams having one game each left. BVB plays its final Bundesliga game on Saturday against Mainz.
Benedikt Scholz, Managing Director of BVB Football Academy said, “The environment in Dortmund is filled with excitement ahead of tomorrow and we are also happy to announce the partnership with AMM Foundation during these exciting times for our club.”
The AMM Foundation’s partnership with BVB will begin in July. Under the deal, the foundation will become BVB’s Official Youth Development Partner in India.
The move will see the foundation learn from BVB’s track record in grassroots coaching and youth development. The BVB academy has a history of producing talent with the likes of Roman Weidenfeller, Kevin Grosskreutz, Mario Gotze and Erik Durm winning the 2014 World Cup for their home nation Germany.
The BVB team that could win the title this year has a number of academy graduates in the form of Marco Reus, Giovanni Reyna, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Youssoufa Moukoko. If BVB wins, it would be the team’s first Bundesliga title since 2011/2012.
The AMM Foundation has been running the Murugappa Youth Football Academy (MYFA) since 2015 in Chennai. Ahead of formalising the partnership, a BVB team including Dr Suresh Letchmanan (Managing Director Asia Pacific, BVB), Julian Wasserfuhr (Coordinator of Talent Development, BVB Evonik Football Academy Dortmund) and Verena Leidinger (Manager International and New Business APAC) visited MYFA in February, for a three-day preliminary camp that comprised coaching drills and classroom sessions.
“Borussia Dortmund’s rich football heritage, coupled with our expertise in youth development will undoubtedly contribute to the holistic growth of MYFA and we will strive to create a brighter future through football,” said Scholz.
M.M. Murugappan, member, board of trustees of the AMM Foundation, said, “At MYFA and the AMM Foundation, our endeavour has always been to use sport as a vehicle for social change and social inclusion. In BVB, we find a like-minded partner who resonates with that goal.”
Murugappan, former executive chairman, Murugappa Group, shared a larger vision through the partnership. “We are certain that together we will improve the lives of not only the footballers but the coaches as well.”