Indian football on the brink of history, agree AIFF president and Arsene Wenger

MUMBAI: AIFF President Mr. Kalyan Chaubey, and FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, Mr. Arsene Wenger addressed the media in the city the day after India’s FIFA World Cup Qualifier Round 2 against Qatar, to discuss the paths to develop Indian Football, and to enhance its youth development system, on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.

AIFF Vice President NA Haris, Treasurer Mr. Kipa Ajay and Acting Secretary General Mr. Satyanarayan M were present on the occasion.

While Mr. Wenger said that most people want to win the next match, though that is something that needs huge preparation, Mr. Chaubey conveyed that he was not here to sell a dream but to ensure Indian football moved in the right direction in the next few years and reached its desired goal.

Mr. Chaubey, who was present at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday, said that football in India is on the brink of history. They were also present for the opening of the first-ever AIFF-FIFA Talent Academy, in the Odisha capital. 

“We are operating at a time that will eventually go down in history. Perhaps we do not realise it right now, but one day, these steps will be talked about,” said Mr. Chaubey.

“We feel honoured that FIFA considers our federation as one that has a huge potential for further development, and I welcome all to be a part of it. Let us all share knowledge, exchange ideas, and listen to what Mr. Wenger says,” implored Mr. Chaubey. “FIFA has not given us a magic button to develop football or qualify for the World Cup. Rather, they are here to guide and support us.”

Mr. Wenger believes that India has a massive potential in football, though he says that the country needs to play to its strengths in order to climb the ladder.

“I am very happy to be in India, and I have seen huge potential here. We can all do better together. The one thing I am certain of is that, be it in football or any other field, we can only progress through educating young people,” said Mr. Wenger.

“You have strengths and weaknesses, 1.5 billion people are a huge number, and that makes for a huge potential. It is important for our countries to show their strengths. Sports creates jobs all over the world. India is booming economically, and you have the chance to develop the most popular sport in the world. The clubs are the key for you to develop the players, and we need them to help the country develop on the footballing front,” he said.

India have often been referred to as the “Sleeping giants of football”, but Mr. Wenger begged to differ.

“The giant is here and is heading for hiding. No more sleeping here in this house. That’s how the AIFF is now. This creates a lot of possibilities,” he said. 

“The world of football is moving forward and 20 percent of the population cannot be left behind. So, you have to come on board and move forward. We can all see that the giant of football is awake, and we will definitely see some football development.”

Also Read: Hemang Jadhav’s late goal gives Young Guns 1-0 win over Spartans in nail-biting clash

Also Read: AIFF signs MoU with Odisha Government on FIFA-AIFF Academy in presence of Arsene Wenger

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian Football.

SSE BFC to conduct trials for U9 to U17 age group players

SSE BFC Soccer School will be conducting fresh trials this month for players aged below 17 to be part of their football program SSE BFC Soccer Schools is a football…


India Khelo Football Season 3 Trials for Mumbai and Thane are here

India Khelo Football (IKF) is back with Season 3 of its widely acclaimed trials with an aim to cover more than 50 cities this time around. After the resounding success…


Mastering the Art of Football Trials: Key Pre-Trial Factors to Keep in Mind

Football trials are a critical juncture for aspiring players to showcase their skills and secure a spot in a team. To maximize your chances of success, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on your playing position as well as keeping in mind a few pre-trial factors.


Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…


BFC Soccer Schools – Mumbai to conduct trials for U14 & U16 Girls

The BFC Soccer Schools Elite team girls’ trials are coming up in search of talented players from the U14 to U16 (Born 2009 and after) age groups into the club’s…


Opportunity to make the team: U.K.M. Kothrud FC conducts selection trials for girls team

Pune-based U.K.M. Kothrud FC has announced that they will be conducting selection trials for their girl’s team on 15th January 2023 The club welcomes all players to come and showcase…


The Sunday Football League Season 4 is back

The Sunday Football League is back with its fourth season, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. With eight talented teams competing at the Kes Kandivali turf, there…


BFC Soccer Schools Elite team trials in Feb

Bengaluru FC launched their Mumbai program last season with the Soccer Schools and Elite programs with its local partner Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE).  Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club…


India Khelo Football Season 2 Trials in Mumbai: A Chance to Kickstart Your Football Career

After conducting trials in 34 cities & villages across India, India Khelo Football is coming to Mumbai to hunt talent on 7th January. India Khelo Football kickstarted its season 2…


Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…