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FIFA-AFC representatives meets SAI, AIFF, state associations

FIFA suspended AIFF last month before reinstating it after the latter successfully conducted its elections. Meanwhile, along with AFC representatives, FIFA met SAI, AIFF and other Indian state football associations.

FIFA-AFC representatives meets SAI, AIFF, state associations-ayh
First Published Sep 29, 2022, 9:38 AM IST

On Wednesday, a joint delegation of the International Federation of Association Football-Asian Football Council (FIFA-AFC) arrived in India and met the top All India Football Federation (AIFF) officials and representatives of various state units. They discussed a roadmap for the sport's development in the country. The meeting's focus was to comprehend the practical problems the state football bodies have faced in promoting the game across the country.

"The meeting revolved around the strategies to meet the challenges ahead and instruments to overcome them," said AIFF in a release. On their arrival in India, the FIFA-AFC panel discussed business straightaway, conducting a meeting with Sandeep Pradhan (SAI Director General). After debating football's improvement at the grassroots and plans to make it broad-based, the council met Shaji Prabhakaran (AIFF Secretary General) and the state associations.

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During the three-day stay, the FIFA-AFC delegation will meet Anurag Thakur (Union Sports Minister) and other officials to discuss various Indian football developmental projects. The representatives will be in India for a couple more days, and they will be meeting the clubs from the Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League, along with commercial partners FSDL and the Indian head coach Igor Stimac.

After the delegation's meeting, Kalyan Chaubey (AIFF President) said, "Indian Football is at a crucial juncture, and it was great to see that FIFA and AFC are actively interested in its improvement. With the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup round the corner, I am sure we can all get together and start rolling the progress motions."

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In contrast, Prabhakaran said, "We aim to improve Indian football from the ground up, and we want to leave no stones 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 achieve the goal earliest."

(With inputs from PTI)

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