Body for football coaches launched

Working towards development and monitoring of football coaches in the country is Association of Indian Football Coaches' prime objective and the AIFF is supportive of the initiative.

Mumbai-based Sporting Lions Foundation will be supporting the AIFC initiative for the first two years, as the incubator, by when the AIFC will be able to stand on its own.   -  Special Arrangement

Two Pro licence coaches authorised by the Asian Football Confederation, Derrick Pereira and Thangboi Singto, Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen (AFC A Licence), football icon IM Vijayan (AFC B Licence holder) and Dinesh Nair (AFC A Licence) were named as Directors of the newly-formed Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC).

Working towards development and monitoring of football coaches in the country is its prime objective and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is supportive of the initiative.

Mumbai-based Sporting Lions Foundation will be supporting the AIFC initiative for the first two years, as the incubator, by when the AIFC will be able to stand on its own. Former India midfielder, Savio Medeira (AIFF Head of Coaching Education & Technical Director) was upbeat of the initiative.

Medeira said: “Respect for the coach is essential for football development. AIFC  is a step towards giving Indian coaches the respect they deserve.”

Kishore Taid, CEO of the national federation, emphasised the need for everyone to work together instead of wasting energy fighting. Dinesh Nair, Head of Mumbai City FC Grassroots & Youth Development, added: “This is not a union of coaches fighting with any organsation. We will work with the national federation, it is in mutual interest.”

Sanjoy Sen and IM Vijayan, absent for the launch due to personal reasons, sent video messages to explain the need for AIFC's formation and the work expected from it. “A coach can be sacked any moment by his club, hence coaches need protection and I hope this body will work towards it,” said Sen, busy with Bagan’s I-League preparation.

Vijayan added: “Just as to produce doctors, engineers we need good teachers, to make footballers we need good coaches.” The former India player stayed away due to Kerala Police department work.

AIFC will accept any coach as members, provided they have AFC C Licence. Coaches from any football format approved by FIFA will be accepted by the coaches body, informed Dinesh Nair of SLC. “Tie-ups with coaches development bodies in other countries is part of the agenda. The primary focus is towards knowledge sharing and coaches monitoring,” he informed.

England U-17 World Cup winning team head coach, Steve Cooper, reacted: “Here at England FA we are fully aware that coach education is the key to advancing the sport. The formation of AICF sounds like an opportunity to take Indian football to the next level.” England is one of footballing nations with whom the newly-formed coaches body will seek tie-ups for coach education.

AIFC will appoint Coach Development Officer (CDO) in different States to follow up and execute decisions. “We are in a position to appoint CDOs in 15 States to start with,” said Nair, who conducts AFC Goalkeepers courses for coaches at different levels. Two directors of AIFC, Singto and Pereira, are attached with Indian Super League teams, Kerala Blasters FC and FC Goa respectively.

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