FIFA to start grassroots football school in Mizoram
Guwahati, June 4 (IANS) Football in the northeast is all set to receive a huge boost as world body FIFA, in association with the All India Football Federation (AIFF), has agreed to set up an academy for developing the game at the grassroots level in the region.
Mizoram Football Association (MFA) secretary Lalnghinglova Hmar told IANS Monday that the academy will be fully functional after the monsoon season.
"Last year some FIFA and AIFF officials visited Mizoram and some other places for setting up grassroots football school. The FIFA and the AIFF had selected Aizawl for setting up the school considering the soccer potential in the hilly state," said Hmar.
"This grassroots school will be initially a one year project and it would be completely sponsored by FIFA. The international body will send their coaches and supporting staff as and when required to run the project," he said adding that all the football enthusiasts between the age of 6 to 12 will be provided international level coaching during the training sessions.
Hmar also informed that although FIFA had started such grassroots schools in African counties, it will be the first such project in India.
"We plan to start with three months training programmes and are expecting enrolment of over 50 enthusiasts for the first batch which is likely to be started by September this year," he said.
There are over 200 Mizo footballers playing for various clubs in the entire country. The Mizoram government had also supported the MFA for availing best of the trainings to football enthusiasts in the state.
"Over 80 percent of the children in Mizoram now dream of becoming a footballer. We have been trying to popularize football in each district sand villages and state government had also given us the much needed help in popularizing the game. The success of state's footballer like Jeje Lalpekhlua, who plays for Pune FC, have become an idol for the football enthusiasts in Mizoram," he said and added that the MFA will continue the grassroots football school, if FIFA withdraws its support after completion of one year.
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