India 2027 reaffirms commitment to football youth development

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NEW DELHI: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to accelerating the development of youth football as part of its bid to host the 2027 AFC Asian Cup.

With the support of Government of India, AIFF will introduce millions of new players to football in fresh, engaging and fun ways, supporting the growth of grassroots Indian football in the build-up to the AFC Asian Cup in 2027. By launching new leagues for 6–12-year-olds and conducting ‘Football for Fun’ camps and workshops in schools across the country, AIFF will bring the joy of football into the lives of millions of children.

Both programmes will accelerate the Indian Government’s mission of increasing participation and developing the country into a sporting powerhouse through national initiatives “Khelo (Play) India” and “Fit India”. Significant investment will be made to increase grassroots sport participation and improve sporting infrastructure and talent identification pathways across the country.

Additionally, AIFF today confirms it is on track to exceed its target of growing participation in youth leagues ten-fold to 2,000 teams by 2022, announced as part of AIFF’s strategic plan 2.0 for the period 2019 – 2022.

As the world’s fastest emerging football market, an AFC Asian Cup 2027 in India offers unrivalled potential. AIFF would work in partnership with the AFC to unlock new commercial opportunities, drive growth and build on an ever-growing love for the sport among the country’s youthful population of more than 1.3 billion people. The slogan, Brighter Future Together, highlights the unparalleled opportunity the bid presents for AIFF and AFC to take Indian and Asian football to the next level.

President of AIFF and FIFA Council Member, Mr Praful Patel, said:

“As home to 1.38 billion people, our bid to host the AFC Asian Cup 2027 in India offers an unparalleled opportunity to take Indian and Asian football to new heights.

“We are committed to accelerating the development of the footballing ecosystem in India and are focussed on increasing participation at all levels. Through our strategic and sustainable football development plans, we aim to leave a long-lasting legacy and become a leading football nation in Asia in the coming 10 years.”