An AIFF Centre of Excellence and the FIFA football for schools programme in Sikkim have been announced by AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey. The AIFF president made the announcement after meeting Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang at Gangtok on Wednesday evening.
“We will set up the Centre of Excellence in Sikkim which will be exclusive for talented football kids of Sikkim. They are unable to get international level infrastructure and training for which they have to go to Mumbai, Kolkata or Delhi, far away from their home. This we do not want. The boys of Sikkim should learn football in their home State through the Centre of Excellence,” said the AIFF president to media.
Earlier in the day, Chaubey chaired the AIFF executive committee meet at Gangtok.
The other important takeaway of the AIFF executive meeting was to implement FIFA football for schools project in Sikkim schools.
Chaubey shared that the FIFA, AIFF and Education ministry had signed a tripartite agreement to teach and promote football in 1.4 lakh schools in India.
“As per the tripartite agreement, students of age 6 years to 12 years will learn football under the FIFA football for schools grassroots development programme. We shared about this with the Chief Minister for implementing the grassroots football programme in the six districts of Sikkim,” said the AIFF president.
Asked how soon these projects will take shape in Sikkim, Chaubey stated that the AIFF had preliminary discussions and the proposals will be placed beofre the Government of Sikkim through Sikkim Football Association (SFA).
To a question on Sikkim hosting international football matches, the AIFF president said that the Chief Minister had also raised the same issue during the meeting with the AIFF delegation.
“The Chief Minister had also asked when and how Sikkim can host international or senior level national matches. I have assured that we will certainly look forward to it on Sikkim hosting these matches. Let me get back to my office and once we come up with a proper plan, we will share with the Chief Minister,” said the AIFF president.
On his part, the Chief Minister shared that the AIFF executive committee, during the meeting with him, has assured all possible support for development of football in Sikkim. Similarly, the Sikkim government will do whatever needs to be done from its side, he said.
Tamang thanked Chaubey and the AIFF executive committee for announcing a Centre of Excellence for football in Sikkim and committed all support from the State government’s side.
The Chief Minister informed that, during the meeting with the AIFF meeting, he called for Sikkim hosting international or national-level football matches. “We have two grounds in Sikkim registered under AIFF and proposed that Sikkim can organize national and international matches, he said.
The AIFF president, at the outset, informed that it was for the first time in 50 years of Indian football that the AIFF executive committee meeting was held in Sikkim at Gangtok.
“We discussed with the SFA on how to ensure advancement of football in Sikkim. At the meeting, we made developmental plans for different States, finalised budgets and discussed on youth football and women’s football,” said Chaubey.