AIFF launches Pilot Project for Development of State Associations

AIFF launches Pilot Project
AIFF launches Pilot Project for development of State Associations,
Picture Courtesy: AIFF
All India Football Federation launched its Pilot Project for the development of seven State Associations in Kolkata on Monday (July 13).

“This is a first of a kind initiative and so we have named it as the Pilot Project,” Kushal Das, General Secretary, All India Football Federation said on the occasion.

Utpal Ganguli, Honorary Secretary of the Indian Football Association went a step further to label it as one of the “best move initiated” ever in Indian Football.

“From the time of me involving with Football, this is one of the best initiatives undertaken by AIFF and FIFA. I need to thank them for selecting Kolkata as one of the venues,” he stated.

Besides Kushal Das and Utpal Ganguli, Subrata Dutta, President, Indian Football Association, also the Vice-President, AIFF and Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran, FIFA Regional Development Officer, South and Central Asia were present on the occasion.

The Project aims in restructuring and laying a path for development of State Associations and besides the Indian Football Association, Kolkata, the other five provisional venues for the FIFA 2017 U-17 World Cup namely Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Kochi and Guwahati have also been included in the Pilot Project. In addition, Mizoram Football Association have also been included for their involvement at the Grassroots and Youth Development.

“The Project is part of AIFF’s Four Years Strategic Plan which has been created with the help of FIFA. AIFF along with FIFA would speak to the Governments, various Clubs, the respective Executive Committees of the State Associations and all other stakeholders. The fundamental focus will be on the Grassroots and the YDP,” the AIFF General Secretary added. “We will soon be organizing a Workshop in Delhi for all the State Associations.”

“The intention is to capacitate the provisional venues for the FIFA 2017 U-17 World Cup.”

In fact, as part of the fact finding mission, AIFF and FIFA are meeting IFA’s Executive Committee on Tuesday (July 14) morning and would have a meeting with the Government Officials in the afternoon. Meetings with Clubs, Players, Media and all other stakeholders would follow.

Reflecting on Kolkata being the ‘Mecca of Indian Football,’ FIFA Regional Developmental Officer Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran mentioned there couldn’t “be a better place than Kolkata” to launch the Project.

“No glory in Indian Football can be achieved without the support of the State Associations. The State Associations need to be prepared to handle the challenges,” he added.

“This Project has the full support of FIFA,” Das declared. “FIFA has been extremely supportive in the launch of the AIFF Strategic Plan and its implementation.”

The FIFA RDO also made a special mention of Mizoram’s contribution at the Youth level. “Some of the States in India are bigger than some of the Countries who had qualified for the World Cup,” he quipped. “FIFA will help in putting up a basic structure.”

Subrata Dutta, President, Indian Football Association pronounced that the Project will facilitate both the “technical and financial growth.”

Subrata Dutta felt the move would “benefit Football in Bengal immensely.”

“We would have professionals who would look after Marketing, Administration and Technical matters which was the need of the hour. The initiative would help the State Associations progress in the area which it actually needs, i.e., Grassroots and Youth Football as it would also support the U-16 league in these States.”

“It’s an all inclusive Youth Development Plan.”
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