Thursday, November 10, 2016 Report by
OUR ENTIRE FOCUS IS ON GRASSROOTS LEVEL: MR.PATEL
With India hosting its first ever FIFA World Cup in 2017, the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, Indian Football is undergoing a mega revolution spearhead by vigorous work on the Grassroots level in an attempt to change the whole ecosystem of Football from bottom to top.
“We are right now investing actively with passion to develop Football in India and take it to a higher level. The development phase is the most difficult one but we have to see it through,” AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel informed at the sidelines of FIFA RDO Shaji Prabhakaran’s book launch ‘Back To The Roots.’
“Our entire focus is on the Grassroots and that is why I can say that Indian Football is headed in the right directions as results are visible to us,” he maintained.
“The number of Teams in the U-16 Youth League has increased tremendously and more Football Players are now involved at the Grassroots level,” Mr. Patel added.
“If we go for a shortcut then Indian Football will never go to the next level. There is no shortcut when it comes to Grassroots Football. It is important that what is happening is guiding change in Indian Football and the whole ecosystem of Indian Football is progressing as the bottom of the Player pyramid structure has beefed up massively,” the AIFF President said in one breath.
The All India Football Federation has jousted vigorously in developing Grassroots and with the FIFA World Cup next year the Football frenzy in the Nation is bound to grow, with craze seeping down to the Grassroots level as well.
“A major reason why we wanted the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 was that we wanted to focus on our Grassroots,” Mr. Patel informed. “It is imperative to develop Grassroots if a Nation has to bring on Football revolution and that is exactly what we intend to do, before, after and during the FIFA World Cup.”
Meanwhile, former Indian Captain and Indian Footballing legend Bhaichung Bhutia who was also present during the launch seconded Mr. Patel’s observation and said: “If Indian Football has to change, then we have to change from the Grassroots level. It has to be a long term development through Grassroots level if Indian Football has to change.”