Report | AIFF to come up with 25-year plan to make India best football nation in Asia
The All India Football Federation is proposing a full overhaul of its work culture as part of a roadmap that seeks to make the national team one of the finest in Asia. As a consequence, the laid-back attitude will be a thing of the past and all programmes will be result-oriented.
It has been learned that the roadmap being created for the next 25 years will implicitly but not directly state that the national team should make the World Cup. "The new set of office bearers does not want to portray World Cup qualification as the be-all and end-all goal. The thought process is if you are among the best in Asia, then you will be playing in the World Cup," a well-informed source privy to the developments told PTI.
"The Indian team was earlier among the best in Asia. The attempt is to rise steadily to that level once again."
"Everything will be target-oriented, be it the coaches, support staff, any other programmes, or even the manpower in the AIFF headquarters. There will be overhaul and restructuring.
"The laid-back attitude will be done away with. It's across the spectrum, and will apply to everybody associated with the AIFF," the source said.
The document's release, which is anticipated to be hundreds of pages long, will likely be postponed for a few days since the AIFF also needs feedback from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation.
The AIFF had intended to announce the roadmap 100 days after the elections on September 2 but ultimately opted to wait until the World Cup was over. The paper is now anticipated to be made public in the first week of January.
Additionally, it is known that the road map being created would be the most extensive in Indian football history.
"It will have a roadmap for the clubs, leagues, and state associations. Grassroots and youth development will form a big part. National team development, improvement in the women's game, coach education, and referee, everything will be there. It will be a comprehensive document," the source said.
The national federation's yearly budget of slightly over Rs 100 crore, according to AIFF Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran, has to be boosted at least ten times if Indian football is to advance.
Because of this, a significant portion of the roadmap will deal with the business side of Indian football, namely how to increase AIFF's financial resources.
"Everybody knows the commercial potential of Indian football. It should be much more than what it is getting currently. The endeavor would be to get the right commercial value from what Indian football is offering," the source said.
AIFF launched Lakshya 2022 in 2012 as a strategy for World Cup qualification in that year. The Netherlands' Robert Baan, who was appointed technical director in 2011, was mostly responsible for it.
Along with FIFA and the AFC, the AIFF also created a roadmap for 2019, although it mostly focused on local league structures, such as promotion and relegation in the Indian Super League and I-League.