AFC Centre of Excellence status for Chennai institution

CHENNAI: In a what is a big milestone for Indian football, opening up opportunities for research in the game, injury prevention and the lifting of standards, Sri Ramachandra’s Centre for Sports Science (CSS) here has been chosen as a Centre of Excellence by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

CSS is the first facility in the country and the sub-continent to receive the AFC honour, The Hindu reports.

Dr Gurcharan Singh, chairman, AFC medical committee and member, FIFA medical panel, told The Hindu: “From today (Saturday), CSS will be a Centre of Excellence for AFC, as it has met all the yardsticks. And the AFC guidelines are the same as that of the FIFA.”

The Malaysia-based Dr Gurcharan made his comments after inspecting the facilities at CSS.

He said, “You have everything under one complex here. A hospital, a university where research is bound to be under sharp focus, and advanced sports training and treatment facilities. It’s state-of-the-art.”

Dr S Arumugam, director, CSS, told the daily: “The AFC recognition is a dream come true for us and is in line with the vision of Ramaswamy Udayar, the founder Chancellor of the Sri Ramachandra University, who only wanted excellence.”

Receiving the nod as a FIFA Centre of Excellence is CSS’ next goal, said Dr Arumugam.

Dr Gurcharan noted: “The CSS has committed to us on pursuing research in football, particularly in the areas of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries. On certain programmes, the AFC and collaborate and share funding.

“It’s great that the Sri Ramachandra University has a Master’s course on sports medicine. That will help.”

“I think teams from neighbouring countries can come to CSS for training and evaluation. The ISL sides can also coordinate through their team doctor with CSS on the fitness front. I see a lot of potential.”