India’s Minister of State (Independent Charge) Youth Affairs & Sports, and Minister of State for Minority Affairs Kiren Rijiju, along with Kushal Das, All India Football Federation general secretary launched the AIFF Golden Baby Leagues Handbook 2019-20 on the sidelines of the Intercontinental Cup in Ahmedabad.
AIFF Technical Director Isac Doru and I-League CEO Sunando Dhar were also present on the occasion. The launch also marked the renaming of the ‘AIFF Baby Leagues’ to ‘AIFF Golden Baby Leagues’, with emphasis being laid for ages Under-6 to Under-12 as they form the golden age for learning – both for girls, and boys.
“Baby League sounds very cute to me. The actual scouting has to start from a very young age. I have been explained how it’s planned by the AIFF. I’m really interested to see the result of that. We’ll look to put more emphasis on the Golden Baby League tournament,” Rijiju assured.
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) July 14, 2019
The Handbook is a guide to help the stakeholder to organize the Golden Baby League. The Leagues aim is to provide access to football in localities irrespective of gender, religion, economic background, or ethnic origin. The League can be organized by anyone, as long as the Handbook guidelines are met.
The AIFF has invited all stakeholders including state associations, clubs, academies, schools, non-government organizations, parents, coaches, football fans to be a part of this grassroots player development initiative. The Handbook can be downloaded from the ‘Document Library’ of the AIFF website, under ‘About AIFF’.
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das stated that the Golden Baby Leagues “will help more kids to fall in love with the sport”.
“The formative years of a child have always laid the bedrock for a successful footballing culture. The AIFF is now stressing to popularise the sport among the kids. We aim to have every kid playing football Under-6 to Under-12. The more they play, the more will Indian Football benefit,” Mr. Das said.
Mr. Isac felt the “completion system is part of the development” for a kid.
“The Golden Baby Leagues, with his new format, and developments is proposing a platform for the Golden Age period players to self-express themselves, and their individual development,” he explained.
“I want to take this opportunity to ask the parents, coaches, and the organizers of the League to understand that the main objectives of playing those games. We need to create a competitive environment in which the players are developing their creativity, self-expression, passion of the game and discovering the value of friendship throughout the team,” the Technical Director said.
“I would also like to encourage the parents or anyone to feel free to contact us for any case of age-fraud activities, and we will act strongly against the offenders.”
Mr. Dhar maintained that the Golden Baby Leagues will further aid the holistic development of Indian Football’s ecosystem.
“The transition of these kids under 6 to under 12 to the U-13 League will now be even smoother. The entire purpose is to present a seamless pathway to the kids and their parents who dream to make it big,” Mr. Dhar opined.