AIFF President Praful Patel said that the federation plans to come up with a comprehensive roadmap for Indian football in the next three years. “I-league is not gone away with,” he said, “We want a stronger football ecosystem in the country and at some stage, I am sure the initial hiccups would be ironed out,” Patel said during the Golden Jubilee celebration of Dempo Football Club here.
“India is being looked upon as unique case not just as a country… we always tell FIFA to look at India as continent. Despite different cultures, India is one great nation,” he said.
Dempo were one of the three Goan clubs who had backed out of the I-League this season due to fears of the league being made second tier to the ISL. There is yet to be any official word but the presence of Praful Patel in the club’s 50th anniversary seem to be an indication that the Goan giants may be on their way back.
Referring to the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup, Patel said Goa is one of the most important venues and the state is being looked as custodian of this game in the country.
“I am sure you will put up a great show here. I am happy that Goa stadium is coming up and is being done up very well. All the past governments are party to it,” he said.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup is to take place in the month of October at six venues across India. While Goa is one, the rest of the venues are Kochi, Guwahati, Navi Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata.