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Passion for football in India is growing, says Shearer

23 Mar 2020

PL Champion joined Chelsea, Man Utd and Southampton for Academy tournament in Mumbai that highlighted League's commitment to growing the game

Premier League Champion Alan Shearer is excited by the ever-increasing passion for football in India after visiting the country for the Next Generation Mumbai Cup in February.

The tournament involved Under-14 teams from the Chelsea, Manchester United and Southampton Academies visiting Mumbai last month for a unique experience.

They faced three Indian Under-15 sides, Reliance Foundation Young Champs, Bengaluru FC and FC Goa, to further their development on the pitch.

They also visited local schools and communities as they embraced culture in India.

'Excitement is growing'

"Every time I come here I think the excitement is growing," Shearer said.

"Competitions like what we're here for in the Next Generation Mumbai Cup will only enhance that in terms of the experience it will give."

Chelsea were the champions of the week-long tournament, winning all of their matches.

One of their players, Riley, said: "My experience in India has been wonderful. Everything that I've seen, everything that I've done, has just been very well done."

Sharing knowledge

The Next Generation Mumbai Cup was the showpiece event of a Football Development Week in which the Premier League and the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) demonstrated their commitment to the development of football in India with the signing of a renewed Mutual Cooperation Agreement.

In addition to the tournament, the Premier League put on workshops for local coaches and referees in a knowledge-sharing experience that benefited both those who travelled from England and the Indian teams and staff.

"The focus of the new mutual cooperation agreement is going to be youth development, talent pathways, referee development and coaching," said Richard Masters, Chief Executive of the Premier League.

Also in this series

Part 1: Tanaz aiming to inspire female coaches in India
Part 2: Riley moved by 'brilliant' Mumbai experience with Chelsea U14s

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