Arsenal legend Robert Pires helped bring Indian supporters together for the club’s first official international fan screening in India.
1,000 supporters gathered at Mehboob Studios in Mumbai to watch our north London derby match against Tottenham Hotspur. This included official members and groups from the nine Indian Supporters' Clubs. Some travelled from as far as Chennai and Bengaluru to attend.
Robert attended the screening and ahead of kick-off was welcomed on stage for an exclusive question and answer session. He received an incredible reception and helped create a fantastic atmosphere for the derby game.
Throughout the afternoon, supporters could also visit the PUMA Fanzone which included a mini football pitch, food and drink stations and a shop. Fans were also given the opportunity to have their photo taken in a mocked up dressing room next to a virtual Santi Cazorla.
Thanks to PUMA, one lucky fan also had the opportunity to win a pair of Cazorla’s PUMA evoTOUCH Derby boots during half-time.
Speaking from Mumbai, Robert said: “I’m proud to be part of Arsenal’s first international fan screening in India. We’ve had such a fantastic reception from the supporters here. The club has always had a global following and to see so many fans gathered together to watch the team play was great. It was an amazing atmosphere to watch a north London derby.”
In his role as Arsenal Foundation Ambassador, Robert made the most of his time in Mumbai and visited a project run by The Arsenal Foundation’s global charity partner, Save the Children. The programme supports vulnerable street and slum children. To reach these children Save the Children established a Mobile Learning Centre – a bus which has been transformed into a classroom and is taken into the squatter communities to give these children a quality education.
Robert met some of the vulnerable children who have been supported by this vital project and even visited a local school to have a kick about with the children.
From the visit, Robert said: “I am so proud to be an ambassador of The Arsenal Foundation and it’s given me this amazing opportunity to visit the work of our global charity partner Save the Children. It was very humbling to meet these young children, many of whom would not have the opportunity to get an education if it wasn’t for the Mobile Learning Centre. It’s so inspirational to see the difference Save the Children’s programmes are making to the children who need it most.”
Sandhya Krishnan, General Manager State Programmes at Save the Children, said: "It was incredible to see the children's faces when Robert Pires played football with them. They were very inspired by his visit and they feel really motivated to work hard, continue their education and pursue their dreams.”
During his time in Mumbai, Robert also visited PUMA’s flagship store where he met and took part in an exclusive question and answer session with members of the Mumbai Supporters’ Club.
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