The All India Football Federation president Kalyan Chaubey announced his plans to expand women’s football, and introduce a new age-group league to get the best talents at a young age.
“We are shortly introducing an under-17 women’s league in India in association with the Sports Authority of India,” Mr. Chaubey said during a media interaction in Kolkata on Thursday, September 8.
Hinting that he would like to maintain a complete gender equality in Indian football, the AIFF president said the federation has the plan to introduce a minimum salary cap for the players in the Indian Women’s League (IWL). “It is not right that honorariums of footballers should have huge differences at men’s and women’s levels. All efforts should be made to restore a balance,” Mr. Chaubey said.
Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran, AIFF Secretary General; Avijit Paul, AIFF Executive Committee member; and Sunando Dhar, AIFF Deputy Secretary General were also present on the occasion.
The AIFF President revealed that the newly-elected committee has the plan to take the Indian licensed coaches and professional footballers to a level, where they will soon be most sought-after people in their own profession at the world stage. “Today, Indian businessmen, corporate executives, scientists etc. are holding top positions in the world. Then why not our coaches and players can do the same? We believe that given the right education and directions, they too can prove to be the best in the world. We should try for that,” he maintained.
Mr. Chaubey, while pointing out that improvement of the game at the state level is the best pathway for taking Indian football ahead, said a lot of importance would be given in future to Santosh Trophy and other inter-state championships. “Over the years, some of the best names of Indian football have risen from these meets. We will continue to nurture these tournaments,” he promised.
Making it clear that misuse of funds in football should be stopped and dealt with in the strictest possible manner, Mr. Chaubey stated: “Our aim is to take the game through the schools. In India, there are 16 lakhs Government schools with 25 crores students. Most of these schools have a football ground each. If we can tap that area, and attach our licensed coaches with the physical trainers at the school, then a lot can be done without wasting energy and resources.”
Announcing that the Technical Committee meeting of the AIFF will be summoned shortly to finalise several issues like coaching, scouting and selections of players, the AIFF President said a balancing act between the interest of the National team and the clubs needs to be maintained since both are important for taking Indian football forward together.
Replying to a question, the AIFF president said the Federation would send the names of its nominees for the Padma Shri and Arjuna awards by September 15.