All India Football Federation (AIFF) Executive Committee members were informed on Monday that FIFA President Gianni Infantino may travel to India to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the way forward for Indian Football. This information was given during a meeting of the Executive Committee of the organisation on Monday which was chaired by AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey.
The meeting took place on Monday. It was attended by Vice President NA Haris, Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran, Treasurer Kipa Ajay, and Sunando Dhar. Also in attendance were the members of the Executive Committee – Lalnghinglova Hmar, Deepak Sharma, Menla Enthenpa, GP Palguna, Vijay Bali, Syed Husnain Ali Naqvi, Neibou Sekhose, Avijit Paul, Anil Kumar P, Valanka Natasha Alemao, Maloji Raje Chhatrapati, Mohan Lal, Syed Imtiaz Husain, Arif Ali, Bhaichung Bhutia, IM Vijayan, Climax Lawrence, Thongam Tababi Devi, Pinky Bompal Magar.
Among the others who were present in the meeting as special invitees were GSFA Secretary Mulraj Singh Chudasama, KSFA General Secretary Satya Narayan, IFA President Ajit Banerjee, and senior FSDL officials Martin Bain and GM Chirag Tanna. AIFF President opened the proceedings by informing the Committee about his development talks with the Government and the Qatar Football Association. “The Government is going to lend large-scale support to help popularise football. We have plans to have U-17 Women’s Football events across 30 cities, where young girls can play and learn about the sport. It is our hope that such initiatives will further help inspire more young kids to take up the beautiful game,” he said.
“We have also had fruitful talks with the Qatar Football Association, and they are going to help us in various areas with respect to the development of football in India,” added the President. Regarding the National Awards, the Committee recommended that Arun Ghosh, Shabbir Ali and IM Vijayan be nominated for the Padma Shri, Manoranjan Bhattacharya for the Major Dhyan Chand Award, and Jeje Lalpekhlua for the Arjuna Award.
The Executive Committee endorsed the Technical Committee’s recommendation to extend Senior Men’s Team Head Coach Igor Stimac’s contract till the end of the AFC Asian Cup 2023. The Committee also recommended that should India make it to the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup, the coach’s contract should be automatically renewed. The Technical Committee’s recommendations to use Indian coaches in all age groups, to discontinue the Indian Arrows project and replace it with the Elite Youth League, and to appoint more female coaches for the Women’s National Teams, were also endorsed by the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee also decided to expand the scouting network in India. It was suggested by the Committee that the AIFF write to the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF), requesting to postpone the SAFF U-15 Women’s Championship, which is set to take place in November 2022.
The maximum age for the recruitment of the Technical Director, for which an advertisement was put out, has been raised from 50 to 55. It was also decided in the meeting that the AIFF would resume its annual Awards ceremony. Technical Committee Chairman IM Vijayan proposed the committee to look into the feasibility of starting an institutional league, to revive the institutions that have long served Indian Football over the years. The proposal was met with positive feedback by the members.
The 34 State FAs have submitted proposals for their respective State Development projects, something that the State Development Committee will duly look into. Additionally, all State FAs have been asked to propose the name of an eminent footballer from their respective state for appointing them as the brand ambassador of each State FA. The nominations of the proposed eminent footballers as the brand ambassadors will be made by the Technical Committee. A three-member committee headed by Vice President NA Haris has been formed to look into the various aspects of the National Centre of Excellence in Kolkata and submit a report on how to take the project forward for the optimum use of the National Teams.