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    Join hands to take India to the FIFA World Cup and promote a powerful sporting & football culture in the country

    • AIFF & Bharti launch first major public-private partnership to build Indian Football
    • Bharti to make significant investments towards establishing a world-class football academy & talent development       programme
    • AIFF to build Indian Football & support this visionary project with its rich experience and expertise
    • Bharti and AIFF to work together to take the Indian football team to the FIFA World Cup

    New Delhi, January 4, 2008: Bharti Enterprises, one of India’s leading business conglomerates with interests in telecom, retail, financial services, manufacturing & the agri-sector and the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the official governing body in India for football, today announced that they have signed an MoU to create a comprehensive programme for the development & globalisation of Indian football.

    AIFF and Bharti will build a comprehensive National Football Development Program (NFDP) and work together for the development of Indian football. This program is aimed at delivering the vision of taking India to the FIFA World Cup while building a powerful sporting & football culture in India. AIFF, in partnership with Bharti, will also design and build a world-class talent development programme.

    Mr. Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, Hon’ble Minister of I&B and Parliamentary Affairs & President, AIFF said "In India, football has had a rich history. The football academy will build young talent providing them with the best the world has to offer. We are pleased that a company like Bharti has stepped forward to partner India in the development of football. AIFF remains committed to partner Bharti and make India a football superpower.”

    Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman & Group CEO, Bharti Enterprises said “Football is the world’s most popular sport. It unites the world. Our vision is to develop a rich football and sporting culture in India. We are delighted to be partnering AIFF towards taking Indian football to international standards. We believe that the initiatives by Bharti and AIFF will make the Indian football team the pride of Asia and the world. To achieve this vision, we will also look at partnering leading international football institutions like Manchester United and IMG.”

    Bharti will establish and govern a world-class football academy, which will be called the ‘Bharti-AIFF Academy’. The Academy, which will be built on the lines of Club Academies in Western Europe, will be a residential cum educational academy. It will select and nurture talent in different age groups with the help of experts from around the world and will provide the talent with exposure to global best practices and training techniques. Bharti plans to create a partner ecosystem, which will include significant international sporting leaders, towards achieving these objectives.

    As a first and immediate step, Bharti also announced a significant support for the development of the Indian Under-16 football team in its endeavour to qualify for the Under-17 football world cup finals. The team has reached the final qualifying round (from Asia) of the competition and will receive the best coaching and support.

    About Bharti  Enterprises

    Bharti Enterprises is one of India’s leading business groups with interests in telecom, agri business, financial services, manufacturing and retail. Bharti has been a pioneering force in the telecom sector with many firsts and innovations to its credit. Bharti Airtel Limited, a group company, is one of India’s leading private sector providers of telecommunications services with an aggregate of over 55 million customers as of end of November ‘07, spanning mobile, fixed line, broadband and enterprise services. Bharti Airtel has been ranked amongst the best performing companies in the world in the BusinessWeek IT 100 list 2007. Bharti Teletech is the country’s largest manufacturer and exporter of telephone terminals. Bharti has a joint venture - FieldFresh Foods (P) Ltd – with Del Monte Foods India Pvt. Ltd., to offer fresh and processed fruits and vegetables in the domestic as well as international markets including Europe, USA and Middle East. Bharti has a joint venture - Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company Ltd. - with AXA, world leader in financial protection and wealth management. Bharti also has a joint venture for an asset management company - Bharti AXA Investment Managers Private Ltd. - with AXA IM and AXA APH. Bharti has recently forayed into retail business under a company called Bharti Retail Pvt. Ltd. It also has a joint venture - Bharti Wal-Mart Private Ltd. - with Wal-Mart for wholesale cash-and-carry and back-end supply chain management operations in India.

    About AIFF

    The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is the official governing body in India (affiliated to FIFA) for promoting the game of football. It has recently launched the National Team Development Programme (NTDP) to take India among the top footballing nations in Asia.