FC Goa midfielder Edu Bedia feels that India's dream of playing in the World Cup is achievable, but needs years of work in academies and investing at the grassroots and youth level. India, on their recent tour to Dubai, played a 1-1 draw against Oman and were humbled 0-6 by a strong UAE side.
Already out of contention in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, India’s primary aim is now to finish at the third position in Group E, behind Qatar and Oman and book a quota at the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. With the remaining matches to be played in June, the Indian team was recently in Dubai, to play a couple of friendly matches against Oman and UAE.
While a young Indian team, with 10 debutants, managed to hold Oman to a 1-1 draw in the opening game, they were hammered 0-6 by UAE in the following encounter. FC Goa midfielder Edu Bedia, having already played four seasons in the Indian circuit, feels that India’s dream of playing in the World Cup is achievable, but needs years of work in academies and investing at the grassroots and youth level.
“Journalists have asked me so many times when we can see India in a World Cup. But that cannot be the question India should be asking just right now. For that dream to be realised and though to occur, there needs to be years spent on working in academies and investing at the grassroots and youth level,” wrote Edu Bedia, in an Instagram post.
“There is talk that it would be good to nationalize a foreign player to raise the level of the national team, but we must look more towards the long term. It would be more efficient and wise to invest in coaches and infrastructure in the lower levels. And in a few years, the growth and improvement in Indian football will be there for all to see,” he added.
India met UAE during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, where the Blue Tigers succumbed to a 0-2 loss, but the game last week was a totally lop-sided affair. Edu Bedia feels that the heavy loss should not be a concern for India, but the superiority shown by the Arab nation was something to be bothered about.
“However, the reality is that the 80th team in the FIFA ranking is a level above India, and what matters less is the result and what should hurt the most is seeing the feeling of superiority in all aspects of the game from UAE – be it technical quality, tactics, space control etc,” explained the Spaniard.