Beckenbauer agrees: the 'future of football is Asia'

Germany's Bayern Munich FC is lifting the profile of its development team participating in India's 111th IFA Shield tournament. Club president, Franz Beckenbauer, contributed a guest column in today's Hindustan Times in which he regreted not having played in the 1977 shield with the New York Cosmos.

"Shortly before I joined Cosmos New York, this team of stars had also made a stopover in Calcutta. Pele and my other colleagues often told me of this experience afterwards, especially about the inspiring reception they received in India. They had never thought that the people here would be so football crazy."

He promised he would visit India "in the next few years" as "the future of football lies in Asia".

See also: Bayern Munich discovers India in "South East Asia" (9 Nov)