FIFA Congress: "We must do more in India"

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter spoke to the world football body's website about his mission to India [selected extracts]:

"At the last FIFA Congress, we made a very clear statement: "We must do more in India." In Asia, there are two giants - China and India - but we realised one of those giants had yet to be fully touched by football and hadn’t felt the benefits of its enormous impact. That’s why I’m pleased to have come to this country to awaken people’s awareness. It’s obvious we have to help the professional league to improve and that there is a need for technical and administrative infrastructures as well. In addition, the national team has to succeed so it can become a driving force. We know the talent is there. Don’t be under any illusions, we’ve been thinking about coming here to help India develop football for a long time, and we’ve already begun via the AFC’s Vision Asia program.

"The trip will help us take stock of the country’s needs so we can then identify the areas where FIFA can help out. We will also be inaugurating the Goal 1 project, which allowed construction of a headquarters for the association. After that, we will be launching the Win in India with India program, which follows on from the Win in Africa with Africa project.

"Women’s football has already managed to grow in countries where cultural, religious or political factors might have made that appear unlikely. As a result, there’s no reason why it can’t work in India ... . I said in 1995 that the future of football was women’s football and I don’t think I was mistaken. The epidemic could well reach India!

"The focus in the future will be on developing artificial pitches in regions where climate conditions make that a necessity. FIFA’s new quality concept is all about making it possible to play on decent pitches anywhere in the world ..."