Indian football growing exponentially, says Dutta
New Delhi, March 26: Hosting two FIFA World Cups within four years and top-notch performances by national teams in international competitions have defined Indian football in the last 5 years.
Speaking on the sidelines of FICCI’s GOAL Summit 2019, AIFF Senior Vice-President Subrata Dutta, said: “Indian football his growing exponentially. It has grown by leaps and bounds. The holistic development of Indian football over the last few years has been a major achievement, and all associated with it should be proud.”
“Indian football is being talked about in the nook and corner of the world, be it in terms of our national teams or the FIFA World Cups that we have hosted, and will host,” he said.
India hosted the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 and is slated to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020. The national teams’ performances have been noteworthy as well, especially the senior team’s 4-1 win against Thailand in the AFC Asian Cup, the women’s team clinching the 5th SAFF title in a row, and the U-16 team reaching the quarterfinals of the AFC U-16 Finals, before going down by a solitary goal against Korea Republic.
“We have six FIFA-approved stadiums and plan to add four more by 2022. The National Centre of Excellence, coming up in West Bengal, will be a state-of-the-art centre and help in the training of players, coaches, referees and officials,” the Senior Vice-President said.
“Today we have 60 accredited academies, coupled with youth leagues and baby leagues. There are over 650 baby leagues being conducted with over 30,000 kids participating and this number will double over the years,” he remarked.