August 5, 2021

Kiren Rijiju: I aim to build five zonal committees to scout the best talents across India

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The minister has promised full support to AIFF to develop Indian football…

The Government of India will leave no stone unturned in their bid to promote football across the country, according to Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS), Kiren Rijiju.

He promised that there will be full financial backing from the sports ministry to develop football and also mentioned that he wants to establish five zonal committees to aggressively scout the best talents spread across India.

“I want to have at least five committees for a large country like India. So there can be a Northern, Eastern, Western, Southern, and a North-Eastern zonal committee. These would include former players and other technical members who have sound knowledge of the sport. The five committees will scout for talent below 12 years of age. We have to start now if we have to make a mark in the Olympics and the World Cup. 

“If not for Covid-19, we would have already started. Talent identification at a very early age is the key to success. We have an abundance of talent in India. There are no reasons why we should be lagging behind. Football has to be one of the main pillars to make India as a global sporting power,” stated Rijiju, during a webinar hosted by Football Delhi. 

The Member of Parliament assured that all demands of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) will be met and he hailed the passion for football in the Eastern and North-Eastern part of the country.

“There will be no dearth of financial support. I will discuss with AIFF and meet all their demands. I have always believed that sporting culture must be ingrained in the lifestyle of the people and football can play a major role. In Bengal and North-East, people still live for football. In Bengal and North East, people have a passion for football,” stated Rijiju. 

Previously, he had called for more active participation from the state associations and promised that all kinds of technical support will be provided to them. 

“There are no robust sports bodies at the state level. They are not active. I am candidly accepting this. We need those bodies to be robust. Then only the government can come into the picture. I want to discuss with the AIFF, after the Covid-19 situation is over, and draw a roadmap on how to make the state and district bodies more active.

“Then conducting events will be a lot easier. Resource will not be a constraint if we have a proper plan.  Once the roadmap is ready we want to call a meeting comprising of all the heads of state bodies as they will be the ones who will be taking care of the game at the grassroots level. There will be no shortage of funds for the development of football. I assure you that there will be no crash crunch for Indian football to develop the game,” expressed the minister.