Inter Milan to enter Indian football market - report

The blue and black half of Milan are set to follow Manchester United and Barcelona's example of expanding their club's reach in India...
Indian football may not be compared to the intensity and passion with which it is played in Europe, but it certainly hasn't stopped some of the world's biggest football clubs, like Manchester United and Barcelona, from setting up their football schools in India. Now 2010 European Champions Inter Milan are ready to make a foray into the subcontinent by revealing plans to set up an Inter Academy in India. The Nerrazzurri already have one such academy in Abu Dhabi which was inaugurated in 2008.

Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai are the cities that have been shortlisted where the proposed academy will be set up. The Italian giants are also hoping to cash in on the football tourism market in India.

Inter also revealed plans of setting up an Inter Campus, a brainchild of club president Massimo Moratti in 1996, which provides support to under-privileged kids. The programme is active in 25 countries and currently supports more than 10,000 children.

The 2010 European Champions are set to cash in on the Indian market

Inter's international sales and marketing manager Barbara Biggi told The Times of India that the club are looking for partners in India who will provide the infrastructure for this project.

"From our end we are ready to start an academy tomorrow, but it depends on our partners in India. We are looking at groups that have the infrastructure ready," said Biggi.

"Unlike others, the Inter Academy will be run by our coaches. They will visit the country on short duration to train India's coaches and youngsters. The trainees will also travel to Milan as part of their training," explained Biggi.

Biggi highlighted that the Inter Campus program is a non-profit venture which even promoted peace in the tense West Asian region.

"It is completely different from our business. As part of the Inter Campus we had football matches with kids wearing jerseys with Palestine and Israel flags on them. This week a top club delegation including president Moratti will be in New York to showcase the programmes at the invitation of the United Nations," said Barbara, who flew out to New York from Delhi on Monday.

Biggi who had several meetings in Bangalore, New Delhi and Karnal during her week-long trip stated that she was convinced that India is a market that has plenty of potential to be tapped.

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