AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: The All India Football Federation’s Advisory Committee meeting was Chaired online by former India captain Mr. Shabbir Ali on Friday, December 23, 2022.
Apart from the Chairperson, also present in the meeting were AIFF Vice President Mr. NA Haris, Secretary General Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran, Deputy Chairperson Mr. GP Palguna, and Committee Members, Mr. Gurdev Singh, Mr. Atanu Bhattacharya, Mr. Irungbam Surkumar Singh, Mr. Victor Manjila, Mr. RP Singh and Mr. Arun Singh Rajput. AIFF’s Head of Coach Education Mr. Savio Medeira was also present as a special invitee.
Dr. Prabhakaran said in his opening address, “On behalf of the AIFF President, Mr. Kalyan Chaubey, I would like to welcome you all to this meeting. It’s great to see so many former players taking important decisions with regards to the development of Indian Football. With the Federation being headed for the first time by a former footballer like Mr. Chaubey himself, and with the presence of former India captain Mr. Shabbir Ali, who we all respect and admire so much, I am sure we will be able to take forward Indian football with your unending contribution.”
“We will take some important steps to grow Indian Football and take the game forward together in the coming years. The Federation is also set to introduce its strategic roadmap on January 7, 2023, and there we can find many solutions as suggested by you to impact football development.”
Chairperson Mr. Shabbir Ali said, “I am deeply grateful to the AIFF management for this honour, and I feel that as members of this Committee, it is our duty to improve the situation for the players and coaches of the nation. Recently, the AIFF, with FIFA and the Education Ministry launched the Football for Schools programme in Mumbai, which is a commendable project indeed. Getting more youngsters to participate in the sport and hosting more youth tournaments is how we can go forward.”
The Committee began proceedings by wishing former India captain Inder Singh on his birthday and remembering his exploits in the Santosh Trophy, the 76th edition of which began earlier in the day in New Delhi.
Coach Education was at the top of the priority list for the Committee, and after much deliberation, it was recommended that the AIFF needs to request the Government to align its coaching courses along with that of the Federation’s and with the AFC’s in order to bring in a level of standardisation that would help licensed coaches get government jobs across the country.
It was also recommended that the AIFF could link-up with colleges or universities across India and hold standardised coaching courses in each state. The AIFF could also host seminars for coaches and PT teachers across India to help them gain a better understanding of how to operate as well.
It was also recommended that the AIFF makes it compulsory for the Hero I-League clubs to have Indian assistant and goalkeeping coaches.
With regards to improving the condition for footballers in India, the Committee felt that there are a number of states in the country where new talent is not coming through due to various factors, including the lack of professional clubs, matches, or jobs. To that extent, the online conglomeration of former players and administrators recommended that the AIFF get in touch with the State and Central Government to request them to increase the quota of jobs for footballers, which would eventually push more youngsters towards the sport.
To improve the competitive quality of players, the Committee felt that the need of the hour is the increase in number of matches for the footballers across the country.
Grassroots development of the beautiful game was also on the minds of the Committee Members, who suggested that a Sunday league be organised for children, with the Hero I-League clubs playing central roles to organise them. Involvement of the parents of such kids was also discussed, as support from the elders often play a big role in the fledgling careers of footballers.
The Committee also advised the AIFF to connect with Corporate entities and request them to provide job quotas for football players, something that could further boost job security.