In an effort to bolster the grassroots football structure as put forth in the Vision 2047 Strategic Plan, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has taken the vital step of announcing its own National Grassroots Football Day, which will be held on June 23 – a date that marks the birth anniversary of Indian Football legend P.K. Banerjee in 1936.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) celebrates it’s Grassroots Football Day on May 15 every year and the current edition in 2023 marks the 10 year anniversary of the event.
As per the AFC definition, grassroots football is defined as “all football that is non-professional and non-elite” 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 the football played by the masses at a level where participation and love of the game are paramount.
Grassroots football forms the backbone of the football pyramid, shaping the future of the sport, fostering community spirit, promoting physical and mental well-being. Its significance extends far beyond the field, impacting individuals, communities, and society as a whole.
With the imminent launch of AIFF’s flagship grassroots project, the Blue Cubs Programme, the focus going forward is to provide a comprehensive and impactful platform for young footballers at the grassroots level. The Programme aims to revolutionise grassroots football development by emphasising key aspects such as skill development, talent identification, coach education, and a structured pathway for both regular and elite players at various stages of their development.
A robust grassroots structure plays a vital role in strengthening the foundation, the broader base of the football pyramid that will yield in taking football to every corner of India and to foster in seeding a football culture resulting in multidimensional impacts on various aspects of football in India.