In a big boost for the Indian Football Association (IFA), the governing body of the sport in Bengal has inked a four-year deal with "Accord Sports VDK" as its commercial partner. As per the deal, IFA will get Rs 14 crore from the advertising and event management group which will handle four tournaments, including the IFA Shield and Calcutta Football League Premier Division.
"They will try to rope in sponsors and will also have the telecast rights. We both will have to work in tandem. It's a win-win situation for both of us," IFA general secretary Joydeep Mukherjee told PTI. The three other tournaments are Trades Cup (first division qualifying), Women's League and Nursery League.
"Initially, they have taken over the responsibility of these tournaments for a period of four years. However they will not interfere in any of our internal work," Mukerjee said. AIFF senior vice-president Subrata Dutta said for the first time any state football association has got a commercial partner.
"It's a historic day in the 128 years' of IFA. For the first time a state association got a commercial partner. It's like the Football Sports Development Limited being the commercial partner of AIFF," Dutta said.
Sudip Ganguly of Accord Sports VDK said they have an expertise of 30 years in advertising and they hope to bring in corporates for the IFA tournaments. "We hope to bring in more and more corporates and will try to include all the tournaments. We hope it's a long-term contract and benefits Bengal football," Ganguly said.