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Everton seal development deal with Indian FA

The agreement will see Everton deliver a unique grassroots football programme in the state of Bengal.

The new arrangement will make Everton one of the first English Premier League clubs to gain a foothold in the territory and follows other global partnerships in South East Asia and North America.

Deputy Chief Executive Robert Elstone who is in Bengal representing Everton, told the club's website: "We are delighted to be here in Bengal and excited by this new and exciting partnership with the Indian Football Association.

"At Everton we certainly believe there is a wealth of opportunity in this partnership for both parties and we are looking forward to imparting our knowledge, expertise and experience of grassroots football to help benefit the game in India.

"Premier League football has become a sort of global phenomenon and the people of India contributed to viewing figures with 30 million tuning in over the course of last season. This level of audience demonstrates a willingness to embrace the English game and at Everton we are only too happy to endorse that way of thinking."

The IFA secretary Utpal Ganguli expressed tremendous optimism with the potential of the new arrangement and added: "As I have said previously this is fantastic news for everyone involved with the IFA and we expect this association will have dramatic effect on improving the quality of football in Bengal."

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