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Bundesliga Int’l seeks partnership for African football devt

By John Egbokhan, Frankfurt

Bundesliga International has said it was open to forging a close partnership with Africa for the sustainable development  of the game on the continent.

Founded in 1962 in Dortmund, the first season started in 1963 and since then the Bundesliga has the lowest ticket prices and the highest average attendance out of Europe’s five major leagues.

Operating on a unique business model, Bundesliga clubs tend to form close associations with local firms, several of which have since grown to big global companies; in a comparison of the leading Bundesliga and Premiership clubs.

Bundesliga clubs are required to be majority-owned by German club members, known as the 50+1 rule, to discourage control by a single entity like Chelsea and Roman Abramovich  and operate under tight restrictions on the use of debt for acquisitions, meaning a team only receives an operating license if it has solid financials, as a result all the 18 clubs are profitable.

Against the backdrop of the falling standards in leagues in Africa, mirrored in  dependency on governors, low  crowd attendances, non-existent sponsorship, poor remuneration for players and coaches, poor playing pitches, Africa is in urgent need of help from a top-flight league body like the Bundesliga.

And extending the olive branch to football bodies in Africa, the Manager, Sales, Europe and Africa of Bundesliga International, Henning Brinkmann, said that the German body was open to share its knowledge, expertise and resources for  the development of leagues in Africa.

Speaking in an interview with visiting African journalists, here on the Bundesliga Tour, co-sponsored by StarTimes and Bundesliga International, Brinkmann said that collaborations would be explored in areas of players and coaches development, international friendlies and technical workshops.

”’African players like Jay Jay Okocha, Sunday Oliseh, Anthony Yeboah made the Bundesliga great to watch. They are part of the success stories of the Bundesliga and I am personally hoping we can help in some ways to develop the game in Africa.

‘Clubs like Hoffenheim are doing things at that level but we are open to expand the  frontiers especially as we are partnering with StarTimes to show the Bundesliga exclusively in Africa. It is a great way to go and we believe it will be a success story if this partnership can be solidified”, added Brinkmann.

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