The All India Football Federation (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das has said that the second strategic plan of the apex football body will focus on organizing longer competitions and a decentralization process to enhance the capabilities of state associations,
Speaking at a webinar organised by the West Bengal Chamber of Commerce on the topic 'Future of Indian football post-COVID-19 scenario' on Monday, Das spoke at length about the second strategic plan of the AIFF and stated that the Indian FA has achieved good results from their first plan.
He said, "We have been able to achieve 75-80 per cent of the first strategic plan. In the second one, we believe that development must happen through competitive football. The competitions must be spread across a longer duration and a minimum of 40-45 games are (to be) played across levels. The main focus is competition-oriented and we are hoping to go local.
"Go local means arming the state associations with better facilities. We are also planning a ranking system according to the performance of the state associations. We have a development officer to help them. It is a part of the decentralization process. We need to have at least 40-45 games to develop. We would do everything to increase the capacities of the state MAs (member associations). But they must also help themselves."
Das also said that direct financial help for the state associations will not be possible due to budget constraints. However, technical help will certainly be provided.
"The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) revenue is around INR 16000 crore for five years only through IPL. So they have a freer hand while distributing funds. Our total revenue is 100 crore. In that, we have to run age group leagues, coach education, national teams and every other expense. So you can imagine how stressed we are. Therefore, in terms of giving direct financial help, it is not possible. But every kind of technical help will be provided.
The AIFF general secretary lauded the work of the state associations of West Bengal, Karnataka and Maharashtra for their effort in the development of the sport.
"The IFA has done a wonderful job. We are keen to work closely with them. Their aim is to take Bengal football back to the glory days. Then there are Karnataka and Maharashtra associations who have also done exceedingly well."