Youth, grassroots are top priorities, says Development Committee Chairman Avijit Paul
03 Nov 2022

AIFF Media Team

NEW DELHI: AIFF Development Committee Chairman and Executive Committee Member Mr. Avijit Paul stressed on the importance of developing the grassroots programme and the youth leagues in efforts to take Indian Football to new heights in the future.

The Development Committee, in its meeting at the Football House on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, recommended that the AIFF will provide financial assistance to every State Association amounting to Rs 24 lakhs each annually, in order for them to improve the game in their respective states.

“Our utmost priority will be to develop youth leagues and grassroots programmes in the states which will help Indian Football grow to greater heights. Without proper youth programmes, no new progress can be made in the structure,” said Mr. Paul after the Development Committee meeting.

“I want to thank our AIFF President Mr Kalyan Chaubey for giving importance to all the State Associations and focusing on developing the sports through their support. We all know if states are not developed, Indian Football cannot move forward. 

“The way FIFA, and AFC support the national federations, all the member associations wanted the same to happen in our system, and through Mr Chaubey’s vision, we are trying to achieve our targets,” he further added. 

Also the Joint Secretary of the Football Association of Odisha (FAO), Mr Paul expressed his plans for the future and said, “The annual financial support of Rs 24 lakhs, which has been discussed to provide to each State Association under the banner of the AIFF will be utilised by the State Associations for their Women’s and Men’s Leagues, Youth Leagues, office space, equipment, and Grassroots development.”

“To run a proper structure, the main thing is to have human resources. We have planned to have a technical coordinator in each state who will coordinate day-to-day activities with the Technical Director of AIFF and execute the important work,” Avijit mentioned.

A three-member committee has been formed, comprising Development Committee Deputy Chairman Mr. Mulrajsinh Chudasama, and Members Mr. Vijay Bali and Mr. Ratankumar Singh Moirangthem, which will come out with a policy on how the funds will be distributed and utilised by the states.

“We are also on verge of designing the requirements from the States in terms of office spaces, and infrastructure. This is a new thing happening for the first time in the federation and I believe through these developmental activities, Indian Football can grow in a better direction,” said Mr. Paul.

“This is a historic step which has been taken by AIFF and I want to thank everyone involved in it. I would also like to urge all the members of the State Associations to put their hundred per cent and provide help to the federation wherever needed,” he said.

A ‘Brother States Programme’ was also suggested by the Committee where the states that are doing well would lend support to more than one state in the areas of governance, development, leagues, grassroots, and so on. “States that are technically sound can help other states across the country which can bring in a lot of expertise to popularise the game.

“I want to thank FIFA for introducing the streaming platform FIFA+ in India which we need to utilise for popularising football in the country. It will be a huge motivational boost for young kids who can watch and experience high-level football matches from various parts of the country,” Mr Paul concluded.

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