‘The Under-17 World Cup can be a platform to go forward’

Darius Kubicki may not have much idea about Indian football, but the Polish footballer feels that the country of more than a billion can utilise the under-17 World Cup, to be held here next year, to leap forward in the sport.

Kubicki: “The ISL brings the (foreign) players to make it more interesting. You need to find a guy who is of 33, 34 years, who can come and do something for your country and obviously earn some money towards the end of his career."   -  Vipin Pawar/ISL/Sportzpics

Dariusz Kubicki may not have much idea about Indian football, but the Polish footballer feels that the country of more than a billion can utilise the under-17 World Cup, to be held here next year, to leap forward in the sport.

Kubicki, an under-18 European championship silver medallist in 1981 and a 1986 World Cupper, said India should make the most of the opportunity of hosting the under-17 World Cup. “That is one of the first steps but you have to turn that a bit and make it interesting and invite sponsors. The Under-17 World Cup can be a platform to go forward. I do not know how strong your team is but if it gets a good result, you never know what can happen, then that will be excellent (for the overall health of Indian football),” Kubicki told The Hindu on Friday.

Kubicki, a Polish defender who played for English clubs Aston Villa and Sunderland in 1980s and 1990s, said the root-cause of India's poor showing in football was the lack of good facilities. “The major problem is facility. You take longer to develop good players because you don't have facilities. Our players are now more skilful because there is a Government programme under which every small district, say with a population of 30,000, has a good artificial pitch. In your place, it is so hot here in summer. That is the solution as well because it is easy to take care.”

ISL a boon

The 52-year-old stressed the need to have good coaches. “You must have well-educated coaches. If coaches don't have proper knowledge, then they can cause damage to the players.”

Kubicki said India, a vast market like China, should also make best use of the Indian Super League (ISL) to improve its standard. “The ISL brings the (foreign) players to make it more interesting. You need to find a guy who is of 33, 34 years, who can come and do something for your country and obviously earn some money towards the end of his career.

“Even one training session with Anelka will give a lot to the players who have never played in this kind of company. That's very important.”

Kubicki and UEFA coach educator Michal Libich, who are here on the invitation of the Delhi Soccer Association and Nisha Sports Group, will hold a coaching camp for 300 trainees free of cost at the Ambedkar Stadium on Sunday. The Polish duo will also attend a programme to coach the coaches.