The July home and away legs of India’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are expected to be televised by Zee’s football channel Ten Action +, according to Indian football’s ruling body.
Kushal Das, general secretary of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) told Goal.com: “The WCQ [World Cup qualifier] both in India and UAE is likely to be telecast live on Ten Action.
“This certainly is a very positive sign and hopefully is indicative of our efforts to make football in India visible and vibrant going forward,” he added.
Indian football fans have faced something of a broadcasting blackout after the AIFF dissolved its broadcasting and marketing rights deal for the nation’s club football I-League with Zee Sports in October 2010, four years short of its expiry date.
IMG Reliance now holds the I-League rights, but was unable to provide national television coverage of any of this season’s club football league, which concluded at the beginning of June.
However, in a more positive move for the country’s football supporters, Ten Action + televised the first round Pre-Olympic qualifier in Doha between the Under 23 sides of Qatar and India on 19 June. The Zee channel will also provide live coverage of India’s home leg against Qatar at Pune’s Balewadi Sports Complex on 23 June, in which the South Asian nation are hoping to pull back a 1-3 deficit.
The full national team will then face the UAE in the second round of Asia’s 2014 World Cup qualifiers at home on 23 July and away on 28 July 2011.
Rebecca Hawkes | 24-06-2011