Last Updated: December 13, 2022, 19:40 IST
New Delhi, India
The laid-back attitude will be a thing of past and all the programmes will be result-oriented as the All India Football Federation is planning a complete revamp of its work culture under a roadmap that aims to make the national team one of the best in Asia.
It has been learnt that the roadmap, being prepared for the next 25 years, will not explicitly say that the national team should qualify for the World Cup but would suggest the same by implication.
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“The new set of office bearers does not want to portray World Cup qualification as be-all and end-all goal. The thought process is if you are among the best in Asia, then you will be playing in the World Cup," a well-informed source privy to the developments told PTI.
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“The Indian team was earlier among the best in the Asia. The attempt is to rise steadily to that level once again."
In the 1950s and early 1960s, considered as the golden era of Indian football, the national team won gold medals at the 1951 and 1962 Asian Games and finished fourth at the 1956 Olympics.
India also finished runners-up in the 1964 Asian Cup but the country’s football declined after that and the 1970 Asian Games bronze medal was the last big achievement at the continental stage.
“Everything will be target-oriented, be it the coaches, support staff, any other programmes, even the manpower in the AIFF headquarters. There will be overhaul and restructuring.
“The laid-back attitude will be done away with. It’s across the spectrum, and will apply to everybody associated with the AIFF," the source said.
The release of the document, which is expected to run into hundreds of pages, is set to be delayed by a few days as the AIFF also wants inputs from the world governing body FIFA and Asian Football Confederation.
The AIFF had earlier planned to release the roadmap 100 days after the September 2 elections but later decided to do it after the end of the World Cup. But now, the document is expected to be released in the first week of January.
It is also learnt that the roadmap being prepared is going to be the most comprehensive ever made in Indian football history.
“It will have roadmap for the clubs, leagues, state associations. The grassroots and youth development will form a big part. National team development, improvement in the women’s game, coach education and referee, everything will be there. It will be a comprehensive document," the source said.
AIFF Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran had told PTI that the national federation’s annual budget of just over Rs 100 crore needs to be increased at least 10 times to be able to take Indian football forward.
That is why, the roadmap will have a large part dealing with the commercial aspect of Indian football, as how to bulk up the financial resources of the AIFF.
“Everybody knows the commercial potential of Indian football. It should be much more than what it is getting currently. The endeavour would be to get the right commercial value from what Indian football is offering," the source said.
In 2012, the AIFF had unveiled Lakshya 2022, a blueprint to qualify for 2022 World Cup. It was mainly the work of Robert Baan from the Netherlands who was made technical director in 2011.
The AIFF had also prepared a roadmap in 2019 along with the FIFA and AFC but that mainly dealt with the domestic league structure — promotion and relegation in the Indian Super League and I-League.
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AIFF's 25-year Roadmap: Revamp Work Culture, Make India One of the Best in Asia – News18