The worldwide football governing body FIFA has decided to give a further boost to its ties with Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) Bhubaneswar and strengthen cooperation in the ‘Football for School’ programme in Odisha, besides exploring opportunities to expand it across India and South Asia.
A letter of intent has been signed in this regard between Youri Djorkaeff, CEO of the FIFA Foundation, and Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder of KISS. The document broadly sets out terms for both entities to commit to investigating avenues of opportunity together – particularly concerning the extension of the Football for Schools programme, which is already active across ten FIFA Member Associations, said a statement.
FIFA has selected KISS as the nodal agency for the promotion of football as it was encouraged by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s big emphasis on promoting sports and sporting activities in the State, the FIFA CEO said during the signing-in ceremony.
In October last year, KISS announced the launch of India’s first-ever FIFA Football for School Programme in association with FIFA.
The latest development seeks to take the engagement between FIFA and KISS, a KIIT constituent, to a new level. According to the letter, KISS will act as knowledge hubs for Football for Schools training, and logistical hubs for Football for Schools balls distribution.
Speaking at the occasion, Djorkaeff said: “It is with great pride and excitement that today we sign this letter of intent with the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences. FIFA Foundation’s Football for Schools programme was launched to positively impact the lives of 700 million children.
"We are delighted today to officialise our collaboration with the FIFA Foundation, and we are looking forward to working alongside our colleagues to develop the Football for Schools programme in Odisha, as well as being able to investigate together many other development opportunities across South Asia.
“Football is the global game, and we have already seen the power it has to unite, inspire, and educate in every corner of the world through the work already done by this programme. I am certain the collaboration we have set in motion today with help enhance that further still and I welcome the opportunities it will undoubtedly bring to millions of children across the region,” Dr. Samanta said in his reaction. Dr. Samanta praised Chief Minister Patnaik for promoting sports in a big way in the State and being a constant source of encouragement for all sportspersons. On the other hand, Football aficionados and lovers of the game have welcomed the FIFA-KISS latest initiative and congratulated Dr. Samanta for the collaboration.
“The programme is on its way to achieving that goal and is active in South America, Africa, East Asia, the Caribbean, and the Arab world. The partnership we are officialising here today is the next step on the journey in India and South Asia. I look forward to many wonderful projects – delivered with the aid of our new partners at KISS – over the coming years.”
KISS is the world’s largest fully free residential school and university for indigenous children, with 30,000 residential students and 30,000 studying on satellite campuses. It has already provided a platform for many sportspersons with state-of-the-art facilities and has successfully produced the highest number of Olympians in Indian sports.
Swiss Member of Parliament Dr. Niklaus Samuel Gugger is the Global Ambassador of KISS.