Mumbai: India has not yet given up on its plans to host a Club World Cup in the near future, according to AIFF president Praful Patel, who asserted that the country's football scene would soon develop "qualitatively and quantitatively".
Patel today chaired the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) Annual General Body Meeting where Zameer Thakur was elected unopposed as the treasurer. Thakur replaced Hardev Jadeja whose term ended keeping in mind the government sports code on age and tenure guidelines.
"Over a period of time the game would, qualitatively and quantitatively develop for sure. We are also bidding for the Club World Cup which would also be a significant step," Patel said.
India had last month ruled out bidding for 2015 and 2016 Fifa Club World Cup owing to infrastructural issues.
In other developments of the meeting, J Jessiah was nominated as member South zone to the AIF Executive Committee.
"We have moved some significant steps forward but we have a long way to go. Indian football is certainly poised to take that big leap. In the last couple of years we have seen a distinct change in focus and every aspect of the game is being addressed holistically and scientifically on the lines of practices prevalent all over the world," he said.
"We work very closely with FIFA and AFC. Whenever I attend FIFA and AFC Congress, I gauge the interest and patience of all for football to further shine in India.
"Everyone expects and wants Indian football to come up to world standards. It's a challenge for us and we need to do justice to every state and region for the game to gain further momentum.
"For that we are making ourselves technically sound and building up the game at the grassroots at the same time. It's the combination of both which would help us in the long term. However, the situation can't change overnight," Patel stated.
He also made a mention of the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League and its impact on country's football.
"The ISL has been a major step in the development of the game. This has brought the necessary viewers to the game and the infrastructure to the game. All of that would benefit the I-League no doubt.
"The ISL surely have a rub on effect on Indian Players. There would be many more iconic Indian players soon," he opined.
Besides Patel, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das,
vice-presidents Subrata Dutta, Larsing Sawyan, Subhash Chopra, Shrinivas Dempo, Executive Committee members and members from member associations also attended the meeting as did the two affiliated units - SSCB and RSPB.
Vice-president KMI Mather and member associations from Nagaland, Auranachal Pradesh and Karnataka were granted leave of absence by the chair.
Shaji Prabhakaran, FIFA Regional Developmental Officer, South and Central Asia was also present.