1) Who are ya?
Baljit Rihal. Proud British Sikh – London born and bred.
2) Who do you support?
Chelsea FC & England.
3) What was your first game?
On a school trip our Sports teacher took us to England v Brazil (1-1 draw) in 1987 at The Old Wembley Stadium – when Brazilian Mirandinha scored his only international goal – then signed for Newcastle.
4) What do you do for a job?
- Founder Asian Football Awards (www.asianfootballawards.co.uk)
- Director Inventive Sports (Sports Consultancy)
- FA Licensed Players Agent
- FIFA & UEFA Licensed Match Agent
- Founder British Asian Football Association
5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?
- Played for and captained my school teams up to high school level.
- Had trials for Middlesex County (didn’t get selected though)..
- Have done consultancy for football clubs – Premiership, Football League, La Liga & Indian iLeague.
Currently working with Premiership clubs to establish setups in India.
6) How did you get into it?
Attended the Chelsea Asian Star event in its first year and was interviewed by the media as to why Asians were not playing top level football.
I was invited to attend forums by The FA – my interest developed from there.
I also became an advocate for Asians in Football, took my FA agents exams – studied hard for it and passed – then founded the Asian Football Awards. Things have spiralled from the first awards in 2012. Held our 2nd awards in October 2013.
It got great media exposure and helped to increase awareness of Asians in Football.
7) What do you get out of it?
My aim is to help improve the representation of British Asians in football. Maybe it is my calling in Life.
Football is a game I have always loved and to be part of the industry is satisfaction in itself.
8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?
Believe in yourself and your dreams. Do not give up
Network ! Network ! Network !
9) If you could do it all again what would you change?
Maybe getting into the business of football a lot earlier than I did. In hindsight, I should have taken the FIFA Masters degree when it was introduced.
10) Who’s your footballing hero?
Simply put – Pele.
Many thanks, Baljit.
Follow Baljit on Twitter – @BaljitRihal
- British Asians in Football (intfootviews.wordpress.com)
- Quotes from the 2013 Asian Football Awards (britishasianfa.wordpress.com)
- West Brom boss Steve Clarke keen to unearth British Asian football talent (standard.co.uk)
- WHO ARE YA? Craig M, Beyond the Last Man (nostanding13.wordpress.com)
- Submit your ‘Asians in Football’ evidence to The FA Chairman’s England Commission (britishasianfa.wordpress.com)