Kolkata :The world’s biggest coal miner, Coal India Limited (CIL), is keen on collaborating with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to set up a football academy, its chairman Sutirtha Bhattacharya said here on Saturday.

“We would be eager to set up an academy with SAI. We are in talks with them. It is possible that the football academy will be like a centre of excellence and it will be in the eastern region,” Bhattacharya said at the Mohun Bagan club.

Bhattacharya said the Maharatna company will soon come out with a sports policy.

“We have already framed a policy and are now looking at the ones in place by the Railways and Services. We will roll this out as soon as possible. We are looking at recruiting sportspersons again and create promotional opportunities for them. We will have sports development officers to start with and they will be former sportspersons,” he said.

Bhattacharya along with CIL director personnel R. Mohan Das, were interacting with mediapersons ahead of a friendly with the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club.

Besides setting up a registered society exclusively for sports, the CIL has asked all its eight subsidiaries to adopt two disciplines, one outdoor and another indoor.

“It will be the responsibility of those subsidiaries to create infrastructure, form Coal India teams which will take part in national competitions and develop coaches and players. 

“We have also earmarked a constant source of income for this. From every ton of coal we sell, 25 paise will be allocated to this fund. That would mean we will have a starting budget of Rs.11 crore approximately. And every year the allocation will increase,” said Das.

In the friendly, Coal India’s Chairman’s XI defeated Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club 2-0 with Subroto Roy and Sukhen Sengupta scoring once in each half.

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