India Sports
Infrastructure and administration needed in Indian football
Apr 16, 2007 - 6:06:29 PM

New Delhi, April 16 - Indian football needs good administration, infrastructure and popular support if it wants to turn the dream of playing in the World Cup a reality, FIFA chief Joseph Blatter said here Monday.

'We need good administration, infrastructure and support from the social and cultural part of society if India wants to play in the World Cup in future,' said Blatter during an interaction organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry -.

'In India we need and economic support for the development of the game. We don't want a sponsor in India because it will give an impression that football is taking and not giving.

'An economic support should be on a give and take policy. Corporate bodies should invest in teams in cash and the teams should return in value in kind and help the companies to market their products.'

He said that if these things are pursued then India could well play the World Cup by 2018.

'The development target in India should be for four years and that has to start now. I think in future we will see an Indian flag in the final round of the World Cup. But it is a long way, but it is a way which is possible.'

The FIFA chief also said that the world body has a lot of international tournaments lined up in future and would be glad if India gets the chance to host even one.

'We offer you a platform and you make your own choice. I wonder when the AIFF will have the infrastructure to host one of the several tournaments that we can offer, not possibly the World Cup.

'If it happens it will create a lot of enthusiasm in the country. And in football enthusiasm is what you need,' said Blatter during his first official visit to this country which ranks a low 165th in global football rankings.

He also said that if the All India Football Federation - approaches them then the FIFA could send a small group of world class footballers who will tour the country at length and will act like professors.

The 71-year-old Blatter said that football has a long history in India and commented that the country is a 'sleeping giant' in football.

'It is being played from the time when FIFA was not even born. India is a sleeping giant and wake it up not for morning classes but for the world level,' Blatter concluded.

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