Friday, March 17, 2006

Indian football manufacturers stitch up World Cup

India's football manufacturrers are keeping a hungry eye on export opportunities in the build-up to the FIFA World Cup in Germany. “There is lot of hustle bustle in football manufacturing units as well as other connecting units as most of them have already increased their production at least three times due to expected hike in the demand of footballs all over the world due to the World Cup, which comes after four years”, Satish Wassan, regional director of the Sports Goods Export Promotion Council told Business Standard.

Last year the export of footballs was almost 8 percent more than the previous year and with promotions for the upcoming World Cup, it could almost double, he said.

However, when asked why Indian footballs were not approved by the FIFA the international football authority, Wassan's excuse was Pakistan’s edge over Indian manufacturers. Multi-national companies like Adidas, Puma had set up specialised units in Pakistan which got raw material at cheaper rates and finer quality, he said.

“We are facing a threat from the China also, as it has already started manufacturing footballs with machine stitching. As production of Chinese units is in bulk, it costs less than the Indian units, which still believes in hand-stitching to provide better quality to the product,” he claimed.

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