AIFF to start U-15 I-League to select 2017 U-17 WC squad
Kolkata: In their bid to prepare a competitive India U-17 squad that will play in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in three years from now, the AIFF is mulling on starting an U-15 I League in order to tap the best talent for the big ticket tournament.
Announcing its long list of plans that AIFF has mooted ahead of the 2017 tournament, Das further said they would appoint a foreign coach for the U-17 besides also roping in a professional CEO.
The next step is U-15 League involving 24-28 teams this season onwards.
It would consist of 10-12 I-League teams depending on the bids that we get, ISL teams (from next year), a few academies (of AIFF, IFA etc) and will be held in a home and away basis.
"We`re planning to start this tournament roughly in December-January, after the Coca Cola Cup (for the sub-juniors) gets over. We`ll pick seven players from them," the AIFF general secretary told reporters at the East Bengal tent.
"Coca Cola starting on August 23, where the first scouting will take place. We`ll pick seven and pick up two academies. We want this to hold over a period of four to five months at least to bridge the big gap."
"As of now, we`ve youth competition over a period of one month or a few weeks. It`s big fallacy in Indian football. We`ll get FIFA support with some sponsors," he said.
He said he infrastructure development was secondary as their main aim to build the Indian side for the U-17 meet.
"We`re not much worried about the organisational aspect like infrastructure. The basic amenities would just be enough. We just need to tweak the basic structure but yes we`ve to start the work very soon."
"I`m more worried about the team development because if we are not able to put up a competitive Indian team then it would be quite an embarrassment," said Das.
Revealing their plan of appointing a foreign coach for the U-17 team, he said: "We want to appoint a coach before the final round of Coca Cola cup before December. We want him to participate in the final round of the Coca Cola Cup.
"It will be a foreign coach as we don`t have a good Indian coach at this level," he said adding that they`re in consult with FIFA regarding this.
On CEO`s appointment for the U-17 World Cup, he said: "We`ve also shortlisted about 20 for the CEO appointment for the U-17 World Cup. The final round of screening will take place during the last week of this month."