NEW DELHI: A delegation from FIFA and AFC met with the top officials of the All India Football Federation and representatives from its various state FAs and other stakeholders on Wednesday in the capital.
The delegation consisted of Nodar Akhalkatsi, director, Strategic Projects & MA Governance, FIFA, Ms Sarah Solemale, senior service manager MA Governance, FIFA, Alessandro Gramagila, Strategic Development manager, FIFA, Sonam Jigmi, senior manager, South Asia, MA Division, AFC.
On arrival in India, the FIFA-AFC delegation held a meeting with Sports Authority of India director general Sandeep Pradhan. The delegation met AIFF secretary general Dr Shaji Prabhakaran and the respective state FAs of the AIFF immediately after the SAI meeting.
During the three-day visit, the delegation will also call upon Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and other ministry officials to discuss various development projects of Indian football.
The focus of the meetings are to understand the practical problems the state FAs face in promoting the game across various sectors of the country. The meeting evolved around the strategies to meet the challenges ahead and instruments to overcome them.
AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey, after the meeting with the delegation, said, “Indian football is at a crucial juncture, and it was great to see that FIFA and AFC are actively interested in its improvement.”
Dr Prabhakaran added, “It is our aim to improve Indian football from the ground up, and we want to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to do so. Our focus is to implement the planned roadmap, and it is a huge encouragement for us that the FIFA-AFC delegation has come to India for a discussion on the same. Their great support will only help us in achieving the goal at the earliest.”
The delegation will be in India for two more days, and they are set to meet the Hero ISL and Hero I-League clubs, commercial partners FSDL, and also with the national team head coach Igor Stimac, apart from interacting with the media.