Indian football’s developmental push is one of the key areas of focus for City Football Group (CFG) in the country which shall be boosted by their partnerships here, according to their COO Roel de Vries, who was present at Mumbai Football Arena for the Indian Super League (ISL) match between Mumbai City and Bengaluru FC last week. De Vries experienced and lauded the thunderous atmosphere at the stadium during the 4-0 drubbing of Bengaluru FC by the hosts.
“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 the Mumbai City 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.”
In 2019, City Football Group announced the acquisition of a majority stake which was seen as a deal where Mumbai City would benefit from the Group’s commercial and football know-how.
De Vries said that CFG would continue to push strongly with Mumbai City’s development in particular and invest in the larger development of Indian football through that. Their focus is in line with that of 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.
De Vries further added, “What you will see from us is a lot of investment in football and in players and coaches, and you can see it on the pitch today. There are players from all nationalities and coaches from other clubs within the group. Our ambition really is to invest in the game, make it better – make it better for the fans, and grow the game in India. That’s what we’re here for.”