Football infrastructure needs to be improved

Last Updated: Mar 06, 2013, 16:04 PM IST

Jamshedpur: Infrastructure for football has to be improved across the country if the goal was to play in big tournaments like the World Cup, Olympian Chuni Goswami said today.

"We will have to improve the infrastructure to provide opportunities to players to improve their skill as well as to host big tournaments," said Goswami, who led the Indian team which won a gold medal in the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta.

"We will have to spread the game across the country including cities like Hyderabad and Bangalore to make it more popular," Goswami, who was adjudged best striker of Asia in 1962, said.

Asked about the possibility of India hosting the 2017 Under-17 World cup, the legendary footballer said, "It would provide us an opportunity to exhibit our talent and also our capability and organisational strength to host such a tournament." Goswami, however, said "we will have to play lot of matches and sharpen our skills to face the top teams of the world."

Referring the U-20 I-League, Goswami said, "I-league is good for promotion of football as good players have started coming in."

Goswami also appreciated the good work being done by the India`s Dutch coach Wim Koevermans. "He has been doing a good job."

Asked about Tata Steel`s proposal to convert the premier Tata Football Academy into a club to fulfil the requirements set by the All India Football Federation to play in the I-league, Goswami said that TFA as an academy was doing a good job and should continue to do so.

"It has produced several national and international footballers since it was established in 1989," Goswami, a founder Director of TFA, said.

An Arjuna and Padma Shri awardee, Goswami was in the steel city for the inaugural match of the sixth U-20 I-League tournament that started yesterday.