LFP assessing options to bring Coupe de la Ligue to India

Arvind Poddar, the chairman and director of BKT, the official title sponsor of Coupe de la Ligue, revealed that French football's governing body, LFP, is assessing its options to bring the domestic cup competition to India.

Coupe de la Ligue BKT

BKT became the title sponsor of Coupe de la Ligue in September 2018.   -  REUTERS

Indian football fans could soon be witnessing French football clubs and the French league cup (most likely the final), Coupe de la Ligue BKT, being played in front of them.

Arvind Poddar, the chairman and director of Indian tyre company BKT, the official title sponsor of Coupe de la Ligue, revealed at an interaction with the Indian media present here, that French football's governing body, LFP, is assessing its options to bring the domestic cup competition to India.

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"The French football federation (LFP) is looking to bring Coupe de la Ligue to India," he said, implying that the entire tournament may be played abroad, in India.

He continued, "They are looking at various options and if they come to India, we'll (BKT) probably be one of their sponsor in India."

Arvind said that LFP may also be looking to tie up with an Indian league. "It's not very clear whether they will be tying up with the Indian Super League (ISL). I know that they have had some meetings when they came to India [in January]."

He added that the gulf between Indian football and French football (Ligue 1) is not a big one. "There is not much difference between Indian football and French football. Here, football has always been very popular. Football will catch up very fast in India. People in India are also getting very crazy about football. It won't be long until India catch up with world sports," he added.

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BKT became the title sponsor of the French league cup in September 2018, with the duration of the tie-up being six years. Italian Serie B and Australian Big Bash are among the tournaments that BKT sponsors.

When asked if the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a target for BKT, Arvind snapped, "Yeah, why not."

(The writer is in France at the invitation of LFP)

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