Former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia on Monday said the lack of top-class infrastructure still remains an impediment to the development of football in the country, while AIFF president Praful Patel lamented the absence of enough money in sports other than cricket.
Considered the torchbearer of Indian football during his playing days, Bhutia felt while avenues have opened up now lot can still be done in the area of infrastructure.
“In my time I only played one U-16 national tournament, besides the Subroto Cup. Somebody like IM Vijayan has never played in any age-group tournament. But now, there are many opportunities for the youngsters to come through the ranks,” Bhutia said.
The ‘Sikkimese Sniper’ was in the Capital alongside stalwarts of Indian football like Vijayan, Jo Paul Ancheri and Bruno Coutinho, for the launch of the book titled ‘Back to The Roots, A Definitive Guide to Grassroots and Football Development, penned by Shaji Prabhakaran, FIFA Regional Development Officer (South and Central Asia).
Patel felt while they have come a long way as far as infrastructure is concerned, lack of enough money remains a issue.
Asked about the performance of the Indian team in BRICS U-16 Tournament held recently, Bhutia said it was important to get the desired results.
AIFF secretary Kushal Das, when asked about the ISL-I-League merger, said it will be known only in March-April if it is implemented.