I-League and Qatar Stars League to share knowledge
David McVeigh, the Head of Business Planning and Club Licensing, Qatar Stars League, visited the AIFF Headquarters, Football House in New Delhi on Tuesday for a brief interaction which primarily focused on the knowledge sharing between the two Countries' top-flight football leagues – the QSL and the I-League, respectively.
David, also the Director of Corporate Planning of the QSL, spoke on a range of topics – right from the inception of the Qatar Stars League, the journey so far, their various milestones, and so on. He also spoke about the similarities between the Qatari football and Indian football.
David said, “Indian football is somewhat similar to Qatari football. Both of us are still developing at a club level – professionally, administratively, and technically. I can see the Indian clubs following a similar path of professionalization as that of Qatar, and I think in the next few years they will be leaving the AFC Cup competition behind and competing on a bigger stage like the AFC Champions League.
“The technical standards of the players are improving, and the AIFF, along with the I-League have been working hard to put into place good development policies and procedures which will give these players the opportunity to identify talent and put the right coaches in place as well to train that talent,” David, who has also worked with the UEFA, said.
He also gave an insight into the knowledge sharing plans between the respective countries' top-flight football leagues and said that the Qatar Football Association are more than happy to suggest and receive insights from each other.
“We have been giving some suggestions in terms of community engagement activities, the relations with schools, how to partner strategically with the local governments and sponsors, to try and put in place a proper framework, so that we can put people in place to make the popularity of football reach a wider audience in India.
“Hopefully we will be making some joint proposals [between the Qatar Stars League and the I-League] about knowledge sharing among the clubs on two levels. One – Possible friendly matches on training camps between the Indian teams and their Qatar counterparts. Two – Shared visits between the clubs at the administrative level to help professionalize some of the administrative, financial, and the commercial people.
“I think Qatar would be keen to share the various facilities with the Indian teams and try to agree on a framework of how we could have some of the I-League clubs participate in Qatar in a training way and a friendly match kind of an environment as well.
“We look forward to sharing a lot of knowledge between the nations. We have received a good presentation from the I-League and the Indian FA over the long-term plan, and I think the motivation and the professionalism is high, and the plan ahead is chalked out well.”
Summing up the experience of interacting with David, I-League CEO Sunando Dhar exclaimed, “We were very pleased to interact with a person of his calibre. Hopefully this understanding and the discussion we had today will be mutually beneficial for the further development of football in both the countries.”