NEW DELHI: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has signed a three-year deal with Panasonic to sponsor the National senior team.

According to AIFF president Praful Patel, the sponsor will pay Rs. 4.75 crore annually and the team will wear the Panasonic logo on the jersey. It was also made known that the sponsorship deal covers only the national team.

Patel said the sponsors had not specified the number of matches the team had to play in a year. “It is obvious that the team will now play more matches. Bob Houghton (chief coach) will come next week and will plan the itinerary of the national team. There is no doubt that in football, and also in hockey, the teams so far have not fulfilled the hopes of the nation.”

Expressing his anguish at the unsavoury tussle between the hockey players and authorities, Patel said, “I hope things improve in all sports. This (Panasonic sponsorship) is a major step towards achieving our goal of excellence.”

Panasonic, which sponsor the Thailand national team, will also undertake marketing and promotional activities for the game in India. — Sports Reporter

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