Short clinics not enough to develop Indian Football: Bhutia

Greater Noida: Former captain Bhaichung Bhutia Thursday stated that small duration clinics by several foreign clubs in the country were not enough to develop Indian football.

Bhutia said the foreign clubs should enter into long term partnerships with local organizations if they want to really make an impact on the development of Indian football.

"Obviously small duration clinics are not enough to develop Indian football. I would suggest that known football clubs from various countries to enter into long-term partnerships to promote the game here. I will be happy if such a thing happened," Bhutia said.

"There are clubs who are seriously interested about entering Indian market. But we would like to see a long term commitment from them," he added.

The 36-year-old, however, said that India could not only rely on clubs from abroad to take the game forward in the country.

"We can`t be only dependent on them. The seriousness should come from within. All the state associations and the federation should come forward in this regard."

He was speaking on the sidelines of a football clinic organized by Etihad Airways, its partner Jet Airways and English Premier League club Manchester City for underprivileged kids.

"It`s a great initiative by the one of the premier club of English football. These experiences can help inspire children take up football," said Bhutia.

The coaching team was headed by Manchester City`s Community Ambassador Alex Williams, who conducted training sessions for kids from Magic Bus. Former City goalkeeper Williams said he was impressed with the eagerness of the children to learn.

"There is no difference in children here and back in England. I did not get to see professional players here as we just worked with under privileged children. The kids impressed me with their ability to grasp and their eagerness to learn new things. It has been a great trip," said Williams who made 125 appearances for City during 1980-86.

Bhutia said if India is given rights to host the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, it will be a massive boost for the profile of the game.

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