Hyderabad FC announces tie-up with 'Maidaan', biopic of legendary coach S. A. Rahim

Varun Tripuraneni, co-owner of Hyderabad FC, says the idea of the partnership is to inspire the young generation to take up football as a career.

Hyderabad FC co-owner Varun Tripuraneni with film star Ajay Devgan.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The partnership between Hyderabad FC and ‘Maidaan’ - a biopic on the legendary football coach S. A. Rahim - is to inspire the young generation to take up football as a career, Varun Tripuraneni, co-owner of Hyderabad FC, said on Thursday.

‘Maidaan’ is a Hindi feature film, presented by Zee Studios and Boney Kapoor, and produced by Boney Kapoor, Akash Chawla, Arunava Joy Sengupta and Zee Studios.

Participating in a virtual interaction which featured the film producer Boney Kapoor and film director Amit Sharma, among others, Varun said he hoped the film would take the sport to a new level and that HFC was keen to play a lead role in this process.

'Brazil of Asia'

For his part, Boney Kapoor said the idea was conceptualised in 2018 since the late Rahim Saab was an unsung hero of Indian football. “Many of the young generation know more about European and South American football than the rich legacy of Indian football in which Rahim’s role was huge,” he said.

“The resilience of Rahim Saab as a coach was something which was truly remarkable and we came to know that the then Indian football team coached by him was referred to by the top brass of FIFA as the Brazil of Asia,” Boney Kapoor said.

“Maidaan brings forward the struggles and victories of Rahim Sir just the way Hyderabad FC has overcome various challenges to rise from where they were in the league with sheer grit and determination. This is the beginning of a great friendship and partnership between two distinct entities,” he said.

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Director Amit Sharma said a lot of research had been done by spending a lot of time, especially by talking to some of the greats who were members of the Indian team coached by Rahim Saab, including P. K. Banerjee, Chuni Goswami, T. Balaram, Tarun Gosh and S. S. Hakim (Rahim’s son).

“The way these greats spoke so eloquently and with such reverence about Rahim was itself a huge revelation,” he said.

“We remember meeting Balaram sir alone at his residence in Kolkata and his walls were adored with medals and the picture of only Rahim Saab and not even of any God.”

Commenting on why Ajay Devgan was chosen for the role of Rahim, Amit Sharma said he couldn’t have thought of making the film with anyone except Ajay. “He is an amazing actor with great commitment. Well, making sports films is really exciting, too, as you just cannot take any liberties and have to stick to reality,” the director said.

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