Why in News?
- The All India Football Federation has recently unveiled its strategic roadmap with ‘Vision 2047’, hoping that in the country’s centenary year of independence, India will emerge as a new powerhouse of Asian football.
- Developed in conjunction with all stakeholders within Indian Football, the roadmap has also sought and incorporated inputs from the Asian Football Confederation and FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association).
- AIFF has broken down ‘Vision 2047’ into six four-year strategic plans. The first of these will look to cover the period till 2026.
- The national football philosophy of India would be based on collecting data from scouting, creating a technical curriculum, focusing on coach and player development and hoping it would translate into a talent pool for the national team.
- To create a national playing philosophy, the AIFF will develop the Coach Education Program to improve the quality of football at all levels of the ecosystem.
- The AIFF has also targeted creating 50,000 active coaches — almost 4,500 with a minimum AIFF C License — across the country.
- The focus on collecting data and creating a scouting system will be in charge of and will do so by 2026. The overall approach to finding a footballing philosophy though remains the same.
- AIFF aims to implement village grassroots programmes to reach 35 million children across 100 villages throughout India and also aim to register 1 million registered players and provide football education to 25 million children through Football for Schools.
- They noted that there is a huge gender disparity in participation at grassroots level.
- A four-level league table pyramid will be created for women’s football by 2026 with the top of the pyramid to be occupied by the Indian Women’s League (featuring 10 teams), followed by the 2nd Division (8 teams). AIFF has also targeted a minimum of 20 states to implement the new women’s youth structures by 2027.
- The women’s football ecosystem has been weak in the country and needed specific solutions to help increase participation and competency, also mentioning the need to improve the minimum salary.
- The Indian national team has made some strides and has improved its FIFA ranking. The ISL and I-League have also seen an increase in popularity and attendances, and there have been some successful Indian players in overseas leagues.
- Overall, football in India still has a long way to go, but there are some positive developments and there is potential for growth in the future.
- The recent efforts of AIFF to improve grassroots level football, training and development of coaches, referees, infrastructure and promoting the game to newer areas and schools, will help in bringing more people to the game and increase its popularity and success