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FIFS names Bimal Julka as new chairman

Outgoing chairman Loffhagen will assume role of strategic advisor

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MUMBAI: The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) has appointed Bimal Julka as chairman. In his new role, Julka will work closely with all stakeholders to further strengthen the operating standards of the Indian fantasy sports industry.

Julka takes over from John Loffhagen, who served as chairman for over three years. Loffhagen will assume the role of a strategic advisor and support FIFS on collaborating with relevant international bodies in the industry.

With over four decades of service in the government at both state and national levels, Bimal Julka is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1979 batch belonging to the Madhya Pradesh cadre. He served as chief information commissioner at the Centre until September 2020. Prior to that, he held several senior posts in the Ministry of Defence, Civil Aviation, Information & Broadcasting, External Affairs, Finance, Commerce and Public Relations.

FIFS CEO Anwar Shirpurwala said, “Having such a senior dignitary like Julka representing fantasy sports will strengthen the industry’s credibility, and we are sure to witness new strides towards reformations and standardisation of the rapidly growing fantasy sports industry.”

Julka described the fantasy sports segment as a new and disruptive industry that has great potential to strengthen and promote sports in the country through meaningful fan engagement. “While fantasy sports are seeing unprecedented growth in both users and operators, there arises an equal need to protect the users and promote responsible growth,” he added.

Founded in 2017, FIFS is India’s first self-regulatory industry body for fantasy sports. At present, it has 35 members who cumulatively account for over 99 per cent of India’s fantasy sports market.

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