A partnership with FIFA has helped the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has helped the body restructure club teams and bring out the best talent from across the country, AIFF League CEO Sunando Dhar said on Wednesday.
While speaking at a panel discussion on the evolution and the future of football in India, Dhar said that several changes have come about in Indian football in the recent past.
"The AIFF has evolved in the last few years. More younger people joining the federation has brought about a change in the leadership, approach and the vision for the game within the country," he said at the webinar organised by Tata Steel.
"Our partnership with FIFA has helped us structure teams and bring out the best talent from all across the country. Now we are identifying talent at a younger age and develop them further with right training and coaching. We started Golden Baby Leagues which broke all of the rules regarding availability of infrastructure and has received great response from young athletes across the country," he said.
Bengaluru FC CEO Mandar Tamhane was optimistic about the future. "We introduced the Soccer School programmes across the State to encourage and promote the sport amongst the young kids. We adopt the talented kids and provide them with expert coaching and training. The future of the game is very bright and we are confident football will soon become the most popular sport in the country," he said.
The webinar was also attended by president of Odisha FC Rohan Sharma, Mukul Vinayak Choudhari, CEO of Jamshedpur FC, and Vineel Krishna, IAS, additional secretary & director sports, Youth Services Department, Government of Odisha.