AFC: India could become major football power:

India has the necessary resources to be a major football power in the years to come and Vision India could be the catalyst in realising this dream, Asian Football Confederation President Mohamed Bin Hammam said in a message to the 12-team Manipur State League being launched today in the north-eastern Indian state.

"With concentrated effort and hard-work, the profile and standard of football in India can be enhanced. With its enormous population and proud football history, India has the necessary resources to be a major football power in the years to come. The potential for football in India is enormous but this potential has not yet been released. To keep pace with the development and changes in modern football it is essential that all stakeholders of Indian football work together to achieve the required changes and developments. Vision India is designed to provide this framework.

"Manipur was selected by AIFF in 2005 as a pilot project for Vision India because of its enthusiasm for football, passion, leadership and commitment to progress and change. In a short span of just one and a half years, Manipur has made huge strides towards strengthening its core football activities administration and management, clubs and competitions, grassroots and youth programmes, coaches and referees education," he wrote.

"I urge other states in India to follow the lead of Manipur in embracing the Vision India programme, and thereby commit to the goal of making India a formidable force in international football."