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Onus on govt, AIFF to lift Indian football: German league CEO


Frankfurt: Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert feels that for Indian football to wake up from its slumber and make a mark in the sport, the push has to come from “within” the government and the AIFF.

Seifert, who heads the premier German football league with the highest average attendance in the world, hasn’t ruled out a future association with India.

“We cannot come to India and change things overnight. It has to come from within, the government. The Indian FA has to take the initiative of building grassroots and youth development programmes,” Seifert said during an interaction at the German Football League (DFL) headquarters in Frankfurt.

“We can do exchange programmes if you are really willing to work towards improving Indian football. Indian Super League is a great project, and we would be more than happy to be playing a role in India,” he added.

The ISL have opened up new avenues for Indian football creating a buzz never felt before, but the national team’s lacklustre performance remains a cause for concern.

Bundesliga has emerged as one of the world’s most structured football leagues, thanks to DFL’s professional set-up and relentless pursuit of excellence and community involvement.

“Over the last few years we are very happy with the development of Bundesliga. We still treat the league in growing mould.

“In the last season in 306 games the average crowd was 43,000. Cologne has 53,000 and Dortmund has a capacity of 81,359, and has been rated as the best football stadium in the world ahead of Bernabeu and Maracana by an English poll.”

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