Odisha Football Club has signed a deal with British-based India Business Group (IBG) to cement commercial relationships between India and the UK. The MOU means both the club and IBG will work towards economic benefits for Odisha’s diverse communities. “This is truly exciting for India and UK relations,” said IBG’s chair, Professor Lord Patel of Bradford. Lord Patel, a former vice-president of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), believes this new connection will create opportunities.
Earlier this year, Odisha FC appointed Coventry-born commercial and sport consultant, Raj
Athwal, as its president. Athwal brings with him decades of working with topflight English and Scottish soccer clubs and coaches. “Soccer is more than just two rival teams battling to win a game,” he said. “We only have to look at Manchester United and England star, Marcus Rashford, to know footballers do great things for their communities in which they are invested.
For several years, IBG has been bringing UK and Indian businesses together, creating successful partnerships which it believes it will emulate in Odisha. “Odisha Football Club is thrilled to have signed this strategic partnership with the UK-based India Business Group,” said owner, Dr Anil Sharma, founder and chief executive of GMS. “Our shared values, passion and mutual interest in embracing the power of sport as a global gateway for education, health and well-being and entrepreneurship in and with India makes this collaboration significant for the state of Odisha, which is emerging as the sports capital of India.”