AFC chief Hammam to visit India next month

Panaji: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Mohamed Bin Hammam will chair the meeting of the AFC Ad-hoc Committee for Indian Professional Football in New Delhi on September 12, AIFF Secretary Alberto Colaco said.

"Hammam will chair the meeting of the AFC Ad-hoc Committee for Indian Professional Football at the Football House in New Delhi on September 12 and give India`s hopes of professionalising the game the push it deserves," he said.

The Ad-hoc Committee comprises Colaco, Churchill Brothers President Joaquim Alemao, East Bengal President Pranab Dasgupta, Lajong FC owner Larsing Sawyan, FIFA`s Director of Member Associations Thierry Regenass and AFC vice-President Manilal Fernando, who is also the FIFA Development Officer for South Asia.

Hammam`s visit will be followed by that of an AFC inspection team which is expected to scrutinise the readiness of the I-League clubs towards the licensing criteria, Colaco said adding that the team is expected to arrive in India on October 23.

According to Colaco, the AIFF has asked the AFC for support in certain key areas including setting up the league structure and regulations, evaluating the capacity of existing clubs to meet AFC and FIFA club licensing criteria and weeding out the clubs that cannot meet AFC criteria.

The AFC has also agreed to sponsor artificial turfs for some I-league clubs under FIFA`s `Win in India with India`s programme, while also contributing to the clubs` costs towards professionalising their administration, he said.

In the past, Hammam had promised "all possible helps" from the AFC provided the Indian clubs themselves believed in change and its benefits.


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