New Delhi: Six years of inaction by the
Delhi Soccer Association has led to the city losing a chance
to raise its football standard as Asian Football Confederation
today decided to scrap the Vision India Programme under AFC`s
Vision Asia Project launched here in 2004.
Tamil Nadu met the same fate as Delhi and it was also
stripped of the Vision India Programme after a meeting of the
Vision Asia Committee at the AFC Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
Delhi Soccer Association Secretary N K Bhatia said the
main problem was the delay in amending the constitution in
line with the AIFF and AFC.
"There were criteria to be fulfilled under the Vision
Asia Project. The main issue was in case of change in our
constitution. We are doing that shortly," he told reporters.
AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam was unsparing to those
who failed to implement the project and said Vision Asia
needed proactive support from the stakeholders.
"Vision Asia cannot work independently and needs to have
commitments from Member Associations and city or provincial
FAs for its success. If the MAs are not willing to change
their statutes and meet the demands of modern football, we
have no option but to drop these projects," he said after the
brainstorming session in Kuala Lumpur.
With the stripping of Vision Asia Projects from Delhi and
Tamil Nadu, only Manipur and Kerala remained the two states in
the country where a full-fledged programme is being run.
The same project was launched in Goa last year while West
Bengal is in line for its implementation.
In fact, Delhi and Manipur were among the first projects
launched in Asia which has 11 different elements for specific
focus ranging from marketing, coach education, competition,
referees, women`s football, youth and grassroot development.
Manipur is running the project admirably well and it has
got praise from the AFC itself while Kerala is picking up
The project was apparently on track after a delegation
of DSA and Delhi government ministers pledged to revive it
during a visit to Kuala Lumpur in July 2008 but it has
apparently hit a roadblock now.
DSA President Subhash Chopra had at that time said his
association has formed a committee to review the statutes
and bring them in line with the FIFA Standard.
Vision Asia, which was started in 2004, is being
implemented in six geographical zones -- West Asia, South and
Central Asia, East Asia, China and India.
China and India were treated as an individual entity as
both countries, by virtue of their huge population, presented
an immense potential for progress to the top echelons of not
just Asian, but international football.