The Premier League and the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) have demonstrated their commitment to the development of football in India with the signing of a renewed Mutual Cooperation Agreement.
Mrs Nita Ambani, the chairperson and founder of Football Sports Development Limited and Reliance Foundation, joined Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters at the Premier League-ISL Next Generation Mumbai Cup to sign the new agreement.
Under the agreement, the Hero ISL and Premier League will continue to work together to share knowledge and expertise in all areas of the elite game, including governance, talent development, commercial growth, administration and wider community development.
The partnership between the two leagues began six years ago and this new agreement will allow them to continue working together to enhance the coaching, refereeing and football development in India.
"The Indian Super League is now forging into the next step of our partnership with the Premier League," said Ambani, whose Reliance Foundation Young Champs Under-15 side are one of the teams taking part in the week-long NextGen tournament.
"The association has over the last six years been very satisfying for the work we have done in developing Indian football.
"We would like the two Leagues to further strengthen ties through the renewed Premier League-ISL partnership to work on youth development, coaching and refereeing aspects."
In the Next Generation Mumbai Cup, three Premier League Under-14 sides from Chelsea, Manchester United and Southampton travelled to Mumbai to compete against Under-15 players from Bengaluru FC, FC Goa and Reliance Foundation Young Champs.
The tournament not only gives the academy players new experiences on the pitch, with the difference in the weather and playing style, but also off of it, with the opportunity to visit local schools and communities to understand more about different cultures.
Chelsea were crowned the winners.
Coaches from the three Premier League clubs have also been working alongside staff from PGMOL, who look after match officials, to enhance the skills of coaches and referees in Mumbai. The aim is that these local coaches and referees will take their learnings into the local community to develop grassroots football.
"This new agreement brings with it a new focus, this time on the development of youth football, so we look forward to working in collaboration with our Indian counterparts to enhance this area of the game," said Richard Masters, Chief Executive, Premier League.
The activities around the Next Generation Mumbai Cup were enhanced by the UK Sports Alliance, whose conferences and meetings to encourage knowledge sharing among different sports were aligned to the tournament.