AIFF chief Praful Patel identifies Gujarat as the next big football destination

An important reason for hosting the grand Mission XI Million festival at the venue — The Arena by TransStadia (Ahmedabad) — was to ensure football develops and grows in the state of Gujarat, which in recent years, has started making inroads in sports.

The ambitious project of the FIFA Under-17 Football World Cup, Mission XI Million, has reached the landmark of reaching out to 3132 schools across India.   -  Special Arrangement

All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel expressed hope in unearthing Gujarat’s potential in football and said he hoped to see an I-league and ISL team from the state in the next couple of years.

An important reason for hosting the grand Mission XI Million festival at the venue — The Arena by TransStadia (Ahmedabad) — was to ensure football develops and grows in the state of Gujarat, which in recent years, has started making inroads in sports.

Local organising committee chairman of the U-17 World Cup, Patel said, “While it might not be at the forefront at the moment, I will try my best to ensure that they grow in the coming years. We will start from the very base, from the kids.

“Through this MXIM programme, we want to establish a connect with the children here. We will follow this up with an elite academy soon and hopefully in the next couple of years, there will be a team in the I League, the ISL as well as the Indian Women’s League from this state.”

The ambitious project of the FIFA Under-17 Football World Cup, Mission XI Million, has reached the landmark of reaching out to 3132 schools across India.

With the enthusiasm shown by the kids and the historic participation of the schools, MIXIM is well on its way to reach out to 11 million boys and girls in all 29 states before the FIFA U-17 World Cup begins in October 2017.

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