Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could visit India to advise on youth development projects: AIFF

Former Arsenal manager and world governing body FIFA’s current Chief of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger could visit India to advise on the youth development projects in the country, the AIFF said on Tuesday.

FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsene Wenger.

FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsene Wenger. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Former Arsenal manager and world governing body FIFA’s current Chief of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger could visit India to advise on the youth development projects in the country, the AIFF said on Tuesday.

Former Arsenal manager and world governing body FIFA’s current Chief of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger could visit India to advise on the youth development projects in the country, the AIFF said on Tuesday.

All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Kalyan Chaubey held deliberations with Wenger and other senior officials of the FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) regarding youth development projects in India.

“Mr. Chaubey had exhaustive deliberations with senior officials of FIFA and AFC on youth development projects in India and reputed coach and FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development Arsène Wenger could visit India to advise on the projects,” the AIFF said in a release after a meeting with the representatives of the I-League clubs.

Chaubey and AIFF Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran had met the FIFA and AFC officials recently in Doha during the World Cup.

Prabhakaran informed the meeting that a task force consisting of representatives of I-League clubs will be formed.

“The task force will have regular interactions with the AIFF to finalise strategy and resolve problems whenever it is needed,” the release added.

Chaubey said the AIFF was “aiming for a growth of five hundred per cent in Indian football, both from the qualitative and commercial aspects of the game”.

He also had discussion with the clubs on their partnership with the AIFF, key strategic areas of the game, players development pathway, the league pyramid, the possible areas for the revenue growth, the way forward for the increase of commercial value and how India could be converted into a talent hub of world football.

“All the clubs as well as the federation are pursuing a dream that they want to be realised in near future. Our focus is the development of the clubs and the AIFF is with the clubs and will support them to the best possible extent,” he said.

“It is our duty to improve upon the overall conditions and facilities in the Hero I-League venues, including pitch and light settings. The quality should not be compromised and the clubs will have to be alert on this.” Chaubey stressed on having more homegrown players in as many tournaments across the country.

“Without homegrown players, we cannot build a large pool of local talent,” he said.

Prabhakaran explained the concept of Elite Youth Leagues and age-group development. He said there will be a top-down approach from Elite Youth Leagues to grassroots leagues in all age-groups from U-9 to U-21.

“To have smooth conduct of the game and to give the clubs the opportunity to plan their seasons well in advance, we will announce the annual competition calendar 2023-24 in December 2022 only.” The meeting was attended by senior officials of Gokulam Kerala, Mohammedan Sporting Club, Sreenidi Deccan, Churchill Brothers, Punjab FC, Rajasthan United, NEROCA FC, Aizawl FC and TRAU FC.

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