The All-India Football Federation(AIFF) has laid a road map for Vision 2047 for the development of Indian football. In the centenary year of Indian Independence, the federation plans to make India an Asian Football powerhouse.
The road map which that AIFF will follow was formed in collaboration with the FIFA and AFC (Asian Football Confederation).
Vision 2047 is a twenty-four-year long-term plan of the All-Indian Football Federation in which it plans to upgrade the quality of football in India. They have made many plans to upgrade the sport, from the grassroots to make India into a powerhouse. A huge aspect of focus will also be the development of women’s football through a four-tier league.
The long-term plan of Vision 2047 will follow a six four-years strategic plan. This is because the federation wishes to tread carefully and with efficient implementation. The first four-year plan will cover the time till 2026.
In the short-term goals for 2026, the AIFF plan to admit 3.5crore children into the grassroots project. They target to include 2 crores children into the footballing world through school development programs. Also, the federation plans to have 10 lakhs registered children-footballers by 2026.
In terms of infrastructure, two FIFA standard stadiums, one smart stadium plans to be built in collaboration with the government by 2026.
Development from Grassroots
In order to develop the future of football in India, it becomes very essential that the federation start the development of the game in small children. Therefore, to achieve this goal, grassroots development plans will see enforcement.
As of now, there is low participation in the beautiful game by smaller children. A huge gender disparity is another issue which our country faces. Lack of facilities and playgrounds with infrastructure in urban and rural areas are one of the major reasons for children not playing the sport.
AIFF plans to indulge 3.5 crores children into their grassroot program by 2026. The federation also has plans to extend their grassroot program to a hundred villages in India.
By educating children and making them play the sport, the federation plans to upgrade the quality of football played in India.
Though women’s football is a growing phenomenon throughout the world, the sport has received lesser attention. Therefore, the federation plans to upgrade woman football in India.
Some methods for the development of women’s football are treating it in par with Men’s football. Other methods will include paying the players well, so they do not feel discriminated. Increasing the number of competitions for playing, incentivizing the coaches and referees too can help develop women’s football.
To ensure more games, the federation has planned for a four-tier league table pyramid. Top of the pyramid will be the Indian Women’s League, which will feature 10 teams. It will be followed by the second division, where 8 teams will compete. Eight teams each will compete in five different zonal leagues to nurture talent. The federation has proposed a new women’s youth league which will feature players of different age groups. By 2027, the AIFF plans for implementation of this program across at least 20 states.
For the development of Men’s football, the federation has planned for a three-tier national league with 40 teams competing. The Hero ISL and I-League will feature 14 teams each. In the Hero I-League second division, twelve teams will take part. City and district leagues will see a formation, which will further promote into the state leagues.
A resurrected youth league will emerge which will have the local state youth league and the elite youth league which will run simultaneously.
In terms of infrastructure, the AIFF plans to build 13 FIFA Standard stadiums and 12 smart stadiums.
To improve the quality of coaching in India, the federation plans to invest in better coaching facilities, along with the development of referees. Also, the AIFF plans to go completely digital in football management, by connecting fans and earning revenues for the development of football.
To follow the European method of scouting and developing players will help India become a powerful force in football.