JSW sports kicks off football club in Bangalore

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 20, 2013 17:10 hrs

Bangalore, July 20 (IANS) The JSW Sports of the $15-billion steel major Jindal group Saturday unveiled its Bangalore Football Club here to play in the prestigious I-League of the All-India Football Federation (AIFF).

Union Minister for Heavy Industries and AIFF president Praful Patel flagged off the club at the football stadium in the city centre.

"We believe these are exciting times for Indian football and are delighted to enter the 14-team League. We thank the AIFF for awarding us the Bangalore franchise," JSW chairman and club owner Sajjan Jindal said.

In view of football's growing popularity across the country, Jindal said the club would build a strong franchise to enhance the standards of the game.

India football captain Sunil Chhetri has joined the club as one of its strikers.

Chhetri is the second national team player the club had signed after fellow-striker Robin Singh joined the team last week.

Set to play their home games in Bangalore, JSW Sports plans to set up a football academy in the city with club coach Ashley Westwood as its head and will provide better infrastructure to the youth in the vicinity for practice sessions.

"Our goal to enter the League is to spread the game to more cities so that fans can get a chance to view their heroes in action at close quarters and improve the infrastructure in the respective cities," club chief executive Parth Jindal said.

Karnataka State Football Association president and I-League chairman A.R. Khaleel and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

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