Arsenal establish presence in India

Arsenal said it planned to set up a football tournament and coaching programme that will be the first of its kind for an English team in India in partnership with Tata Tea, the beverage unit of the Tata group – one of India's largest conglomerates. It is also considering establishing a football academy in the country.

"If the right opportunity comes along, it [an academy] would be something we would be interested in doing," Paul Shipwright, who runs Arsenal‘s international school soccer programme, told the Financial Times.

Arsenal already has partnerships with two teams in Asia - Vietnamese League Club Hoang Anh Gia Lai and Thailand's BEC Tero Sasana Football Club.

It has football academies in these two countries, run in partnership with a company founded by French footballer Jean-Marc Guillou, and has soccer schools in 18 countries around the world.

Under their partnership, Tata Tea and Arsenal will hold a football competition that will culminate in a national tournament.

A selection panel will choose 30 boys from this tournament for two weeks of coaching by Arsenal in Calcutta before a final 15 are sent to the UK for the "Arsenal International Soccer Festival" in August.

Have your say