FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, Arsène Wenger, is going to visit India in October. The aim is to establish a national academy. The President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Kalyan Chaubey, unveiled some exciting details. The academy will target U13 boys and girls. It will be a milestone in the FIFA and AIFF cooperation.

Chaubey and Dr Shaji Prabhakaran, the Secretary-General of AIFF, met with key figures in the football world. Apart from Wenger, there were Steven Martens, FIFA’s Technical Director, and Ulf Schott, FIFA’s Head of High-Performance Programmes. At the meeting, they worked on the details of the collaboration.

Chaubey shared his thoughts: “I am glad that we are on the verge of setting up a state-of-the-art academy, along with FIFA, with Arsène Wenger playing a key role. With his experience and our industriousness, we can set the ball rolling for India to produce future stars.”

One of the unique aspects of the deal is that the academy won’t operate in isolation. It will have four or five feeder academies, forming a network to develop young talents. Arsène Wenger will announce the initiative at a press conference in September, before his visit to India.

Dr Prabhakaran, the Secretary-General of AIFF, expressed his eagerness to welcome the French coach: “Mr. Wenger will have an impact on developing elite players in India. The professor is convinced about our country’s potential,”

Dr Prabhakaran conveyed his excitement about Wenger’s involvement. “He is an inspiring figure and we can engage millions of youths. We will have a few diamonds to shine on the global stage. Our project is taking shape as envisioned in our roadmap, Vision 2047,” he added.

Shedding light on the project, Chaubey stated, “The U13 Youth League and Sub-Junior National Championships will play an important role in spotting talents. We want to provide more opportunities to our member associations and youngsters for the state-level trials so that each state association can field their best possible team for the U13 Youth League.”

Wenger’s arrival promises to be a turning point in India’s footballing landscape. With FIFA and AIFF’s efforts, a national academy and its feeder networks may become the breeding ground for India’s future football stars.

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