All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel on Monday mentioned Delhi may see two I-League groups within the upcoming season. AIFF lately invited bids from non-I-League cities, together with Delhi, Ranchi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhopal, Lucknow and Ahmedabad, to participate within the 2020-21 season. The earlier season of the league noticed 11 golf equipment, together with AIFF’s developmental outfit Indian Arrows, participate within the competitors. However, reigning champions Mohun Bagan have merged with ATK and can play within the Indian Super League (ISL) from the upcoming season.
“Clubs from Delhi will be a reality soon in Hero I-league and there may be two teams from Delhi. I am personally looking into this aspect and no doubt Delhi football deserves a big focus being the capital city,” Patel mentioned throughout a programme organised by Football Delhi to mark the 36th birthday of India captain Sunil Chhetri.
He additionally highlighted the progress the AIFF has made over the past decade whereas emphasising on the necessity to “professionalise the sport”. “We have come a long way. Globally FIFA now acknowledges that Indian football has to be supported and strengthened for the sport to grow in the region. FIFA and AFC have made it clear that football has to be commercially viable and it has to support the overall ecosystem around it,” he mentioned.
“That is why it is important to professionalise the sport. The Hero I-League was the first step towards that. Now, the Hero ISL has taken it further and made more additions to Indian football,” Patel added.
Chhetri mentioned he obtained the “best birthday gift” when Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju introduced the formation of 5 zonal committees to hunt expertise throughout the nation.
“I am really honoured to have my birthday celebrated as Delhi Football Day. It is like a dream, when you start playing, you never dream that your birthday will be made so special and for that I am really thankful to Football Delhi.
“Sports Minister Shri Kiren Rijiju making a dedication right here to find each soccer expertise in India and if each expertise is recognized and nurtured properly then half of the issue of Indian soccer is solved. It is the most effective birthday present I can ask for,” Chhetri said.
The skipper added that in a vast country like India finding talent is not an issue.
“Talent will not be the issue right here. We may have loads of Olympic gold medals. I understand how laborious the AIFF works to get a much bigger pool of gamers. It is essential to provide the younger gifted gamers the best meals, coaching and so forth. When all that is carried out, it may be a monumental development,” he said.
Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran said the state association was delighted to receive such an overwhelming response.
“It was very encouraging to listen to from the distinguished audio system the potential of Indian soccer basically and Delhi soccer specifically.
“It was a perfect way to celebrate the birthday of Sunil Chhetri and we are honoured by the overwhelming response and attention Delhi football is receiving through this E-Summit,” Prabhakaran mentioned.
Meanwhile, Patel lauded the Odisha authorities for “setting an example of how a state government can help sports thrive in a particular region.”
“I think states like Odisha need to be commended. They have actively supported every sport. That is something that other state governments should follow too.”
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