India: In what promises to be a new chapter in Indian football, Civil Aviation Minister Mr. Praful Patel inaugurated today the BV & KW‘s Abhijit Kadam Football Development Centre (AKFDC), India‘s first truly international football training centre in association with The FA, AIFF and Liverpool. Also present at the inauguration were MP Loksabha & IOA President Suresh Kalmadi and Chancellor of Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University and Minister for Forest Dr Patangrao Kadam. AKFDC endeavors to be the India‘s first centre aimed at creating football industry professionals by providing courses in coaching and refereeing apart from building a talented football talent base.

Bharati Vidyapeeth, Cheshire based International Football company Kick Worldwide, & Liverpool FC, have come together to establish the Abhijit Kadam Football Development Centre, the world‘s first centre aimed at creating football industry professionals for the booming Indian football market. Liverpool FC made its first significant move to become the most popular English club in India, when it launched an innovative Football Development Centre in Pune, India.

Abhijit Kadam Football Development Centre is located in one of India‘s most dynamic cities, Pune. The centre is based within the campus of the Bharati Vidyapeeth University, which boasts nearly 250,000 students and is named after the son of the founder, Dr. Patangrao Kadam. Abhijit, an avid football player, was tragically killed in a car crash, and since then, his family, led by his brother Vishwajeet, has devoted much of its time to enhancing the level of football in India in his memory.
Students at the centre will be able to enroll on a number of football related courses, which are to be delivered in partnership with some leading UK colleges. The courses include, coaching, refereeing, Sports Science, Sports Turf technology and Football Industry Management. Most of the curriculum will be delivered in Pune but students will be offered the chance to complete some of their studies in the UK.

Aspiring young footballers will be able to combine their studies with football playing under the guidance of Liverpool FC coaches. Liverpool FC however has adopted a highly innovative approach that will genuinely assist the development of the football industry in India.

India has 14 Professional 1st Division Clubs, 21 Second Division Clubs and more than 200 Professional & Semi Professional Clubs in the country playing in various tournaments and Leagues organized under the various State Associations and the All India Football Federation. We also have numerous schools, colleges and universities where football is a very popular sport. By completing courses like these, students graduating can have ready job opportunities in these clubs, schools, colleges and universities to make a career out of the favourite sport.
Mr.Vishwajeet Kadam, Secretary of Bharati Vidyapeeth, and Vice President of WIFA & President of Pune District Football Association stated, “We are extremely privileged to have both national and international dignitaries at this momentous occasion. With partners such as AIFF, The FA, Liverpool FC and Kickworldwide, football enthusiasts across India will have access to the best international minds in football for training them in all aspects of the game. AKFDC endeavors to take football in India to a higher dimension”.

The International Coaching & Refereeing Courses will be the first courses to take off at the AKFDC. The courses will be conducted by English FA from 19th of April onwards. Students who complete the FA level-1 coaching and refereeing courses at AKFDC will be allowed to move to England (only within FA jurisdiction). While the International Refereeing course at AKFDC will enable anyone completing the course to be recognized as a qualified referee in England.

Other Dignitaries present at the inauguration included Deputy High Commissioner of Britain Mr. Peter Beckingham, Mr.Alberto Colaco General Secretary All India Football Federation, Chairman Kickworldwide Mr. Brain Barwick, Former Liverpool and England Football great Mr. Phil Neal, Mr. Baichung Bhutia Captain of the Indian Football team, Mr. Subroto Paul Indian Goalkeeper, Mr. Frank Mc Parland Director of the Academy at the Liverpool Football Club and His Excellency Sayyid Khalid Bin Hamed Bin Hamoud Albusaidi Chairman of Oman Football Association.
Bollywood stars Ritesh Deshmukh, Arjun Rampal, and Sajid Khan turned up to endorse support for the development of the sport.

About Bharati Vidyapeeth: Bharati Vidyapeeth, one of the leading educational conglomerates with 150 educational institutes in India, was established on 10th May, 1964 by Hon'ble Dr. Patangrao Kadam who is the Chancellor of Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University. Bharati Vidyapeeth has campuses mainly in Western Maharashtra including Mumbai and in Capital City Delhi.

About Kickworldwide: UK based Kickworldwide has become one of the world‘s leading organisations for the development of football in emerging markets. Kickworldwide believes it is essential that any commercial organisation that operates within any community should be obliged to put something back in to that community. Through its global reality TV format ´Soccer Prince‘ and its ´Football Development Centres‘, Kickworldwide is creating opportunities for young people across the world.

For further information, please contact:
Shivam Yadav