National team defender Adil Khan feels Indian football is headed in the right direction even though a World Cup qualification remains far-fetched.
India could not clear the first round qualification hurdle for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scheduled to be held in Qatar, having managed to play good football only in patches.
Adil, nevertheless, expressed optimism.
“Indian football is growing in a good way and is on the correct path. I just wish it keeps growing the way it has been and tries to maintain the quality,” the 32-year-old defender said during an AIFF TV interview.
He praised the authorities for being able to resume footballing action in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“It is great. After more than seven months without any football activity, we’re back to the pitch once again.
“I followed the Hero I-League Qualifiers closely and have noticed the positive buzz around it — that’s fantastic. Kudos to the AIFF for bringing back sports, let alone football, move one step closer to normalcy.”
He added, “It was difficult for everyone who is connected to football — supporters, owners, players and every single stakeholder. Our pre-season has also started.”
After aggravating an injury that had halted his career, Adil came back strongly to appear for the Blue Tigers after a seven-year hiatus.
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The sturdy central defender lauded the changes that have been brought into Indian football.
“During my initial days, there was a dearth of quality grounds. Infrastructures, facilities have improved immensely since then. These things always help a player perform to their true potential. That has helped Indian players perform in a better way,” stated Adil.
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“Earlier, teams used to depend heavily on foreigners to churn out results. But the scenario has changed of late. Indians have been taking responsibilities and proving their worth,” he added.