The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) – the commercial partner of Indian football and organiser of the Indian Super League.

The organising body of Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 has stated that the MoU focuses on several areas of collaboration, possible club initiatives and exchange of experiences around fan engagement, as well as a strong focus on leveraging modern technology and innovation. 

Furthermore, the deal sees both parties aim to gain ‘valuable insights’ into the respective sporting cultures of the two regions. The first knowledge-sharing workshop took place in Frankfurt, Germany.

DFL CEO, Donata Hopfen, said: “India represents an exciting emerging market thanks to the already rapidly-expanding interest in football and the active participation among society in recent years, making football the second largest sport within the country. 

“Therefore, and due to its world-renowned passion for sports, India already plays – and will continue to play – a significant role in the context of the Bundesliga’s international efforts in the years to come. 

“Jointly exploring avenues of collaboration and working closely with the ISL, our trusted partner, will not only benefit Indian and German professional football, but more importantly will be another important step as we support the growth of the world’s favourite sport globally.” 

Additionally, in regards to the development of fan engagement in India, the pair have highlighted an ‘ultimate goal’ to raise awareness and find new ways to grow a ‘passionate but largely untapped fanbase’. 

The development of eFootball will also be a key area of the partnership, with the DFL and FSDL working together  on a structure and commercial model for the eISL.

“We are always looking at partnerships that will help with the holistic growth of Indian football and bring best practices from global leagues for Indian clubs to learn from,” an FSDL Spokesperson said. 

“The DFL has been a strong partner to FSDL over the years and this partnership has continued to evolve with a focus on how to give fans the best experience of Indian football. We hope this partnership will benefit Indian football and its passionate fans.”

Football in India continues to grow in popularity, and German football has already forged close relations with Indian football stakeholders in recent years. 

For example, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig have established club partnerships with several ISL clubs, while the German Football Association (DFB) also has an MoU in place with the All-India Football Federation (AIFF).

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