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India could soon get a taste of French football


Press Trust of India Lille (France)
India could soon get a taste of French football with the organisers and title sponsor of Coupe de la Ligue "assessing options" to hold events related to the tournament.
This was revealed by Arvind Poddar, chairman and managing director of Indian tyre manufacturing company BKT, which is the title sponsor of Coupe de la Ligue.
"At this moment I can't go into the specifics. All I can say is that the French leagues' governing body (LFP) is looking to bring Coupe de la Ligue to India," Arvind told a group of Indian journalists here.
"We are looking at various options and if they come to India, we'll assess," he added.
Arvind said that LFP may also be looking at a tie-up with an Indian league in the near future.
"It's not very clear whether they will be tying up with the Indian Super League (ISL). I know that they have had some meetings when their officials came to India in January.
The agreement between LFP and BKT was reached in September last year. The association is for six years.
The Mumbai-based company is also involved with Serie B in Italy and Australia's Big Bash cricket league.
Arvind was hopeful that India would gradually catch up with the rest of the world in international football.
"I think there is not much difference between Indian football and French football. Football has always been very popular here. Football will catch up very fast in India. People in India are also getting crazy about football. It won't be long until India catches up with world sports," Arvind said.
Meanwhile Strasbourg won their first major trophy since 2005 by edging out Guingamp on penalties in Saturday's French League Cup (Coupe de la Ligue) final after a drab goalless draw here.
Strasbourg emerged victorious 4-1 in the penalty shootout.
Arsene Wenger and Didier Drogba were among the luminaries in attendance for the Coupe de la Ligue final, while a 15,000-strong Guingamp support made the trip from Brittany to Lille.
It was their fourth League Cup triumph, to add to three French Cups and the 1979 Ligue 1 title.

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First Published: Mar 31 2019 | 11:30 AM IST

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