Our ambition is to invest and grow the game in India, vows Roel de Vries

Roel de Vries, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of City Football Group said that the group’s main aim is to give Indian football a developmental push with grassroots development initiatives across the country.

Roel de Vries, who was present at the Mumbai Football Arena for the Indian Super League (ISL) match between Mumbai City FC and Bengaluru FC last week lauded the thunderous atmosphere at the stadium during the 4-0 drubbing of Bengaluru FC by the home team.

“I love being in India. I’ve been here a few times in a previous capacity, but for the first time in my role with City Football Group, and the first time for Mumbai City as well today,” said de Vries on the sidelines of Mumbai City FC’s game.

“Spent today going through what we see as the future for football in India — a very, very positive day, and very excited to see the atmosphere in the stadium. Now, I can see the growth for real.”

Over the past years, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) has undertaken multiple initiatives to grow the overall football ecosystem in India, including global technical partnerships and with the evolution of the Hero ISL, as well as grassroots programs like The Reliance Foundation Young Champs combined with other grassroots development initiative across the country, football is witnessing an upward trajectory.

The entire football proposition in India is improving, making it a lucrative property for global involvement. The Premier League is already involved in these efforts through their partnership with FSDL, and the City Football Group is now part of a growing list.

De Vries said that City Football Group would continue to push strongly with Mumbai City’s development in particular, but also invest in the larger development of Indian football through that. Their focus is in line with that of the Hero ISL and FSDL’s objectives — to create a fast-paced, high-quality league full of well-matched teams that will enhance the fan experience.

“We want to keep growing the team — be better and better, but we also want to play a big role in the promotion of football in India. We believe there is a lot of growth potential in India, and the more we put games like this on display, the better we play, the better our opponents play, and I think the better we will get,” he said.

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