Sudeva Delhi announces first ever Indo-Japanese footballing partnership

Mudeet Arora
Sudeva Delhi announce first ever Indo-Japanese football partnership
Sudeva Delhi announce first ever Indo-Japanese football partnership / Photo by Samir Jana/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

I-League club Sudeva Delhi FC has entered into a first of it's kind alliance with a Japanese football club, ShonanBellmare.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the two clubs states the term to be valid from 1st January, 2021 to 31st December 2023.

The Japanese club also made the official announcement in their press conference that was joined by about 50 media houses in Japan.

Mr. Anuj Gupta, President at Sudeva Delhi FC expressed his thoughts on the partnership on Thursday as he told I-League's official website, "Our young boys would get an opportunity to go to Japan and be a part of their ecosystem. It’s a great honor and 2022 would mark a historical year for Indian football!”

Mr. Vijay Hakari, Vice President at Sudeva Delhi FC added, “Indian Football is at an infancy stage and there’s still a lot to learn, but Indian football has been open to information & learning.” He also highlighted the similarities of genetics, culture & understanding between Japan & India being Asian countries. He states, “We’d be able to exchange information much easier & in a much greater manner. It is an Asian alliance that’s happening that will contribute to the alliance of information & understanding of junior football.”

The President of ShonanBellmare, Mr. Naohito Mizutani stated that there have been lesser opportunities for him to experience Indian football standards before, but believes that this association would be enriching & informational.

Mr. Kiyoshi Sekiguchi, the Technical Director at ShonanBellmare stated that the club has made an alliance with India, and several other countries like Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, and is still on the lookout for more clubs from good football countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.  He comprehends Indian football as tough & high-level, and thus, looks forward to the barter of knowledge & expertise.