NRI businessman revives football in Kerala

INITIAsaNRI football enthusiast and Managing Director of ERAM Group and ITL World, Dr Siddiq Ahmed, is to revive the golden era of Malabar football by reviving the annual football tournament after a gap of some twenty years, and ensure that at least one member of an average Keralite family starts kicking a football, rather than playing games on tablets or cell phones.

The Sait Nagjee Trophy Football Tournament began in 1952 in Calicut and continued till 1995. Dr Siddiq says his dream is to restart the tournament and regain the golden period in Indian football that started from Malabar.

Dr Siddiq, himself a football player in his youth, is launching the football initiative after he successfully started over 1200 e-toilets across 18 Indian states.

A new football academy is to be set up in association with the Madrid Club and train professional footballers from Kerala. Dr Siddiq also spoke to football and sports officials in the UAE and Saudi Arabia to ensure that GCC teams are playing in tournaments, and Sachin Tendulkar and other celebrities from the film and business community are now supporting football.

The Sait Nagjee cup football tournament will be held in Kozhikkodu from January 22 with the participation of international teams from Germany, Argentina, Spain, Brazil and India