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Home > Sports > Football > Report

Chelsea touch for Indian football

November 14, 2007 16:55 IST

English Premier League's top club Chelsea FC has been invited to join the Mayor of London [Images] Lord Sebastian Coe and his delegation of other ambassadors on his visit to India that starts on November 18.

The trip will promote closer ties between the capital and India in business, tourism, education, sport and creative industries.

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon will lead the club's contingent which also includes Communications and Public Affairs director Simon Greenberg and former player Graeme Le Saux who now works as an ambassador for Chelsea on its Corporate Social Responsibility programme. Lifelong Chelsea fan Lord Sebastian Coe, who led London's successful bid for the 2012 Olympics [Images], is also on the trip.

"It is a great honour for the club to represent London in this way for the second time. We were in China 18 months ago with the Mayor's delegation then and we are delighted to have been asked again," Kenyon said.

"Chelsea's roots and heritage are set in our location in the capital, and if this can assist in promoting London in India then we are very happy to do that. We are also excited by the opportunity to help promote Indian football and the English Premier League on this visit. The Indian community is the largest minority ethnic community in London and Chelsea has some interesting plans about engaging with them and encouraging them to get involved in football more," he added.

Chelsea will be participating in a conference in Delhi called Host Cities: Unlocking Business Opportunities through sporting events, as part of Delhi's build up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games as well as attending other delegation activities.

Chelsea already has excellent relations with the Asian Football Confederation and was the first major football club to enter into a partnership with the AFC to promote grass roots football in the region and will be meeting senior Indian football officials on the trip.

At home. Chelsea works with the Asian Media and Marketing Group, the biggest Asian media/events group in the United Kingdom by sponsoring their Football in the Community Award in the GG2 Diversity Awards and for the last  six years Chelsea has hosted the Asian Cup final at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea's formal links with London, as well as being an official Ambassador, are also extensive. The club is a platinum partner of Visit London, a member of the business forum London First and were the first Premiership football club to publicly support the London Olympic bid and assisted in their campaign.