AIFF plans St George's Park style centre of excellence for football as part of their 2047 roadmap, Here are the key takeaways from the meeting

AIFF promises two FIFA standard stadiums and parity between the men's and women's teams as they lay the agenda for roadmap 2047 in the latest meeting for football development in the country

Joshua GeorgeUpdated: Saturday, January 07, 2023, 06:14 PM IST
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As part of its strategic roadmap for football in the country the All India Football Federation has fixed 2047 as the landmark year to raise the standrad of Indian football and bring it among the top four in Asia. The strategic roadmap was presented in Delhi by Shaji Prabhakaran, General Secretary of the the AIFF , highlighting the importance of the next 25 years and the endeavours needed to transform Indian football.

“We as a team came to the conclusion that 2047 is a momentous year for India and football should not lack behind because other areas are going very fast in India. 25 years down the line, we will see an incredible state of football in India,” he said while addressing the media.

Six cycles of development

While discussing AIFF's plans, he said, “2047 will be divided into six cycles of development. The new management committee from 2022-26 will check Indian football’s progress then and move ahead accordingly. “

Speaking about the targets of the incumbent regime Prabhakaran said, “We want to be top four in Asia, one of the top six leagues in Asia, and one iconic footballer each from men’s and women’s football.”

“We have to have a national football philosophy and have a coach that fits into our philosophy and will be data-driven,” he emphasised.

Structural changes paramount

Indian football is in dire need of structural change in every aspect right from governance and administrartion, football development to business and marketing division, which the AIFF General Secretary has promised to look into.

"We want to work with the 26 football associations hand-in-hand in their capacity so that they are there to help to contribute to the change,” he added.

As part of the development initiatives, he said, AIFF will work with the government to build two FIFA standard stadiums and one smart stadium by 2026. Apart from this, 50 pitches will be built across all districts in the country.

Equality: Women on par with men

Talking about the progress of women’s football in the country, he assured minimum wage for female players and said both male and female players will be treated equally.

“Women will be treated at par with men’s football, given equal opportunity and status. We will bring a safeguarding department within the federation so that they feel safe,” said Prabhakaran.

Key takeaways

* Every state will have its own centre of excellence. At least 50 professional clubs will have their own training ground.

* Right now we have 4,500 clubs in our competitive structure. By 2047, we would like to see that figure go up to 20,000.

* We will see 100 clubs in our professional structure and a minimum of 20 stand-alone women’s clubs.

* At least one of the clubs should be a champion in an Asian competition by 2037.

* By 2026, we would like to see 35 lakh children in our grassroots project and 20 million children through school development programs. We would like to have 1 million registered children footballers by 2026.

* We would like to start courses for refereeing in India.

* AIFF will sign 50 professional referees and we will announce their names on 10th January at the Football House. This will be the first step (in improving refereeing) since we took over the office.

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