FIFA plans special 2007 initiative for India football

Strategic planning for the sustained growth of football in India was the primary objective when FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter welcomed a high-level delegation from the All India Football Federation to FIFA headquarters in Zurich yesterday. The delegation, led by AIFF President and Indian Minister of Information Priya Ranjan Das Munsi, met with top FIFA officials to plan a new initiative and design a framework for achieving tangible short and long-term results in the development of football across the subcontinent.

"India is a country with an amazing potential for growth of the beautiful game," said President Blatter. "It is home to 20 percent of the world's population and deserves particular attention from world football's governing body. Therefore, FIFA, in conjunction with the Asian Football Confederation Vision Asia project, is developing a special initiative for the future of Indian football. All I can say now is 'stay tuned' - years from now, people will look back and see 2007 as the start of something remarkable for our sport in India."

The as yet undisclosed initiative will be officially launched by the FIFA President when he visits India in 2007. Designed to reflect FIFA's mission statement "Develop the game, touch the world, build a better future", the initiative will utilise the wide variety of resources available to FIFA and the AFC to provide a solid foundation across the board, including infrastructure, competitions and business development.

Furthermore, during the meeting, AIFF President Das Munsi, accompanied by General Secretary Alberto Colaco, addressed the challenges that have thus far prevented India from achieving the level of development it deserves, but confirmed their positive vision of the future with the support of FIFA and the AFC.