Stakeholders in Indian football have agreed to make a roadmap to create right structure for Indian club football in the coming years for the game across the country. At a roundtable meeting held on Wednesday, a consensus was reached on working together for the development of Indian club football.
Chaired by AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John, the meeting included representatives of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the Sports Ministry of India, the I-League and ISL clubs as well as from the world governing body, FIFA, the players’ representatives and the AFC.
An agreement was reached that the ultimate goal was to establish the right structure for league football in India and that a strong league would help develop better players and coaches, which would enhance the national team and that would then, in turn, assist the continued growth of club football.
In the meeting, it was agreed that the history, commitment, and contributions made for more than 100 years as well as the new skills, investments and marketing and promotional skills required respect.
The AIFF will decide the format for the short-term and there was an agreement around a roadmap to deliver medium and long-term plans for the game in India through a detailed process.
Independent research would be commissioned and
Dato’ Windsor said: “There was a desire by people, who are extremely passionate about the game, to marry the strengths of both the traditional and the new, which helped in delivering the objectives of the meeting in which the AFC listened to the key stakeholders.
“The objectives were clear; to help provide a roadmap for the future development of Indian football by reaching a consensus on the way forward. It was a significant step forward that there was unanimous agreement that the right structure for the game should be paramount.
“The stated vision of the AFC is to be the number one sport in Asia, and so to achieve that aim Indian football and its development is extremely important. There is no doubt that Indian football has huge potential, and the meeting was convened so that potential could be realised.
“There is a need to find solutions which ensure that Indian football is protected and that there are opportunities for young players, who must not be lost to our game.”
Kushal Das, the AIFF General Secretary, added: “We are grateful to the AFC for facilitating the meeting which is crucial to the development of football in India. We must go through this process to create the best future for the game in our country. In the meantime, we have to decide on the short-term future of the game as soon as possible.”