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Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of City Football Group, is buoyant of the benefits the association will bring to Indian football in general. Image Credit: Supplied

Mumbai: City Football Group (CFG) on Thursday agreed a deal to acquire a majority stake in its eighth club, Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League (ISL), marking a major move into Indian football. CFG will become the 65 per cent majority shareholder of the club, alongside existing shareholders, actor Ranbir Kapoor and film producer Bimal Parekh who combined will hold the remaining 35 per cent of shares.

The completion of the investment remains subject to the approval of certain football bodies. News of the acquisition was revealed in front of the Club’s fans by CFG Chief Executive Officer Ferran Soriano together with Chairperson, Football Sports Development Limited and Reliance Foundation Nita Ambani.

The CFG’s operations will now include eight football clubs and football related businesses in 13 offices around the world. The Group has expanded significantly since its inception in March 2013, and now employs more than 2,000 staff and has more than 1,500 footballers who play over 2,500 games every year. Through its Cityzens Giving campaign, CFG has also supported community programmes spanning six continents, including Mumbai in its 2019 edition.

Welcoming the City Football Group to the Indian Super League (ISL), Nita Ambani said: “It’s a landmark occasion that celebrates the remarkable rise of Indian football and brings to life our vision for the beautiful game in India.”

“It is a great endorsement of the increasing appeal of Indian football and for all football fans in India, this is a moment to take pride in our football, our culture and the opportunity we present to the world in developing the sport. The power and potential of our youth makes India the most exciting global opportunity in the world today, in every field, and especially in sport,” she added.

Commenting on the acquisition and the opportunities it brings to all parties, Chairman of City Football Group Khaldoon Al Mumbarak said: “We believe that this investment will deliver transformative benefits to Mumbai City FC, to City Football Group and to Indian football as a whole. City Football Group is committed to the future of football in India and to the potential for Mumbai City FC within that future.”