FIFA is taking strategic steps to reform grassroots football in India
NEW DELHI, May 15 (IANS) To give grassroots football a boost in the country, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has taken some vital steps to nurture talent.
To strengthen football’s grassroots structure as laid out in the Vision 2047 strategic plan, FIFA has announced the organization of its own National Football Day, to be held on June 23, and the Blue Cubs program to help develop young players.
The National Folk Football Day will be organized on a date that coincides with the birth anniversary of Indian football legend PK Banerjee in 1936.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) celebrates the popular football day on May 15 every year, and the current edition in 2023 marks the tenth anniversary of this event.
According to the AFC’s definition, football is defined as “all non-professional, non-elite football” and examples include children’s football, school or youth football, amateur football, football for disabled players, and even football for veterans. In short, it is football played by fans at a level where participation and love of the game is paramount.
Grassroots football forms the backbone of the football pyramid, shapes the future of the sport, fosters community spirit, and promotes physical and mental well-being. Its significance extends far beyond the field, affecting individuals, communities and society as a whole, according to a report on the AIFF website.
A strong core structure plays a vital role in strengthening the foundation, the broader base of the football pyramid which will lead to the transmission of football to every corner of India and further in implanting football culture resulting in multidimensional effects on various aspects of football in India.
With the imminent launch of AIFF’s flagship grassroots project, the Blue Cubs programme, the focus going forward is on providing a comprehensive and impactful platform for young footballers at the grassroots level. The program aims to revolutionize football development at the grassroots level by emphasizing key aspects such as skill development, talent identification, coach education, and the structured path for both regular and elite players at different stages of their development.