AIFF launches pilot project for seven state associations
All India Football Federation on Monday said that Mizoram and the six provisional venues of 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup would be part of their ambitious Pilot Project which was launched in the city here.
Under the project, which is part of the four-year strategic plan created by FIFA, Under-15 State Leagues will be held in the seven state associations -- Bengal, Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Kerala, Assam and Mizoram -- to find the best possible team for the U-17 World Cup.
“But the long term goal is grassroots and youth development so that it can significantly change the face of Indian football. The project has a full support of FIFA,” AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said at the launch.
The seven associations would be given <g data-gr-id="22">one-year</g> time limit and if they fail to deliver results within the deadline, the AIFF would choose some other state. The AIFF will also appoint two officials -- technical officer and director of operation and management -- in each association to oversee <g data-gr-id="20">of </g>the project.
As part of the <g data-gr-id="26">fact finding</g> mission, AIFF and FIFA are meeting IFA’s executive committee tomorrow morning and would have a meeting with the government officials in the afternoon. Meetings with clubs, players, media and all other stakeholders would follow.
FIFA regional developmental officer Shaji Prabhakaran said there could not be a better place than Kolkata to launch the project. “No glory in Indian football can be achieved without the support of the state associations,” he said.
Meanwhile, Indian Super League has incurred a loss of more than Rs 100 crore in its inaugural edition with each of the eight franchises losing Rs 35 crore, AIFF said.