Saturday, December 03, 2005

IFA Shield promoters fishing for Liverpool for 2006

Total Sports Asia has signed an MoU with the Indian Football Association, the Kolkata-based organisation responsible for football in India's West Bengal state, to further develop and promote the game.

TSA is responsible for the Bayern Munich development team's participation in this year's IFA Shield and the company’s next target is to provide an international flavour to the five-a-side Futsal event in 2006.

"The final of the Futsal soccer will have an international tinge next season with efforts already on to rope in two popular foreign participants, either from Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh or Pakistan. These two will play with the other 19 qualified teams from the district. And the final phase will be held at the Netaji Indoor Stadium," TSA director, Navneet Sharma, told Sudeep Pakrashi of Express India.

With the end of 10-year tie-up between ESPN and IFA next year, TSA is targeting two local television broadcasters. “If ESPN doesn’t renew its contract, then we are planning to get two channels as IFA sponsor. One would be a regional channel for the district-based and junior tournaments of the IFA, while the popular channel would be contracted for the IFA premier league and the IFA Shield,” another TSA executive said.

TSA has said it has started negotiating with English Premier League club, Liverpool, for their participation in the IFA Shield next year. “It might be Bayern Munich reserves again participating in the Shield next year. But talks are on with the Liverpool club management and if things work out, then Liverpool reserves’ participation will be sure,” the executive told Express India.

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