The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has unveiled its Vision 2047 project, a road map to position Indian football in ‘incredible state’ by the centenary celebrations of the country’s Independence.
Addressing the media on Saturday, the president of AIFF, Kalyan Chaubey stressed that it would be a collective effort, as he said, “it is our right to dream and our duty to do everything it takes to fulfil that dream. Together, we can aspire to take Indian football to peaks never scaled before.”
“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,” said Shaji Prabhakaran, the general secretary of AIFF, while presenting the strategic roadmap on Saturday in Delhi.
The project, broken into six four-year plans, conceived in consultation with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the International Football Federation (FIFA), aims to strengthen key areas from the grassroots level to infrastructure development, apart from working with a renewed focus for women’s football in the country, through a four-tier league.
The basic focus is to ensure a lot of matches at various levels.
“By 2036, India will be among the top seven countries in Asia, a strong contender to qualify for the World Cup on merit,” said Prabhakaran.
The AIFF aims to reach 35 million children through grassroots programmes, especially in villages, providing football education to 25 million children.
There will be a three-tier national league pyramid for men, with 40 teams. The Hero Indian Super League and the Hero I-League will have 14 teams each while, the I-league second division will have 12 teams. There will also be an elaborate youth league.
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To have better players in the football ecosystem, the focus will be on coaches’ education. The road map targets having 50,000 coaches across the country, with at least 4,500 having a minimum AIFF C-license.
The talent hunt will be data-driven from the grassroots, to the youth league, on to the national team. Qualifying for the FIFA under-17 World Cup for both men and women is a key part of the agenda.
All efforts would be made to attract investment in football infrastructure, and a mega football park is expected to be ready by 2026, along with the National Centre of Excellence.