Barcelona eye moves in Indian ‘key strategic market’
Spanish soccer giants Barcelona consider tackling the Indian market a key aspect of future global expansion, according to the club’s Asia Pacific Director General Jordi Camps.
The Spanish soccer giants now run three training centres in the country and are looking to capitalise on increasingly fertile ground for the sport.
Speaking to Reuters, Camps highlighted the opening of a LaLiga office in New Delhi as evidence of an increased focus on developing the sport’s popularity, as well as India’s successful hosting of the Under-17 Fifa World Cup.
Camps said: “The growth of the Indian Super League and the success of the under-17 World Cup held in India in 2017 have been absolutely vital for the development of the sport in the country.
“Not only did it garner global coverage and engage young people of India, it also helped develop infrastructure, upskill personnel and transfer knowledge to a range of governmental organisations and businesses to help stage major footballing events.
“We feel that we have a part to play in the growth of football in the country too.”
Barcelona opened its first Indian Barca Academy in 2013 and have since added two. This year the LaLiga reigning champions will host Barca Academy Asia Pacific Cup in Delhi.
Camps added: “With our Barca Academies, this is what we are aiming to change – structured, consistent and well defined programmes that promote the club’s working philosophy.”
Club soccer’s global powerhouses are regular visitors to the Asia-Pacific region during preseason but India has rarely featured on the itinerary. According to Camps that could well change in the upcoming years.
He said: “India is a key strategic market for FC Barcelona and we’re constantly looking at opportunities to further engage and interact with our fanbase – whether that’s through our academies, digital content or a first team tour.
“In 2019, we’ll be in China and Japan and beyond that, let’s see.”
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