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India seeks continuous support from FIFA for development

India Today Sought “continuous Support' From New FIFA Head Gianni Infantino For Development Of Football In The Country. During The All India Football Federation’s Executive Committee Meeting, A Proposal Was Also Made To Have An U-13 I-League, Keeping In Mind The Grassroots Programme For Talent Identification.

PTI | Updated on: 14 Mar 2016, 06:32:47 PM

New Delhi:

India today sought “continuous support” from new FIFA head Gianni Infantino for development of football in the country. During the All India Football Federation’s Executive Committee meeting, a proposal was also made to have an U-13 I-League, keeping in mind the grassroots programme for talent identification.

It was also unanimously decided that the final of the Federation Cup will be held in Srinagar on May 24.

Talking about the new FIFA chief, AIFF president Praful Patel, chairing the meeting, said, “Mr. Infantino is a dynamic and energetic young man and I had a chat with him in Zurich.  We also seek FIFA’s continuous support for development of Indian football.”

The federation’s technical director, Scott O’Donnell, stressed on closing the gap between the ages of 12-17.

“A proposal was laid to have an U-13 I-League and AIFF will be working in close association with the appointed Technical Officers of the State Associations for developing and laying the process for the same,” the AIFF said in a statement.

As per the request of the Indian Football Association, the committee granted an advance sum of Rs 20 lakh for refurbishing of the Barasat Stadium, which is presently the ‘home’ ground for both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in the Hero I-League. The sum paid as an advance is to be repaid by the IFA within 365 days.

Meanwhile, Patel congratulated the Indian men’s team for its success in the SAFF Suzuki Cup and the women’s team for winning the gold medal in the South Asian Games.

“The team coached by Stephen Constantine and captain Sunil Chhetri showed exemplary character during the tournament. I would also like to congratulate all the players and the support staff for their contribution.

“I also congratulate the Indian women’s national team for winning the gold medal in the SAG and Services for winning the 70th Santosh Trophy for the fifth time,” he added.

Realising the potential of women’s football in India, Patel has called for a meeting on March 30 to discuss the format and way forward for women’s development.

It was also decided that the sub junior final round will be held in Delhi from April 10 onwards and the committee was also given a detailed presentation on the forthcoming format of the Coca Cola Cup (U-16 Championships).

Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League educated the committee about the substantial rise in the attendance in matches in the current edition.

“In the second division League, Imphal and Kashmir have been drawing an average of 18000 spectators per match,” he informed.

Director of scouting Abhishek Yadav apprised the committee about the scouting details from the exhibition matches which the U-17 World Cup team played in various venues.

“We selected eight new faces from our four scouting matches out of which two travelled with the Team to the exposure Tour to South Africa.”

Meanwhile, the committee ratified the proposal to have Yadav as a member of the technical committee.

Furthermore, Javier Ceppi, tournament director U-17 World Cup, educated the committee about developments in the build-up to the hosting of the mega event next year.

A three-member committee was also set up to decide on the proposed affiliation process for Lakshadweep.

AIFF secretary Kushal Das, vice presidents Subrata Dutta, Shrinivas Dempo, Larsing Ming, treasurer Zameer Thakur, women’s committee chairperson Sara Pilot and national coach Stephen Constantine among others were present in the meeting.

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First Published : 14 Mar 2016, 06:25:00 PM