Bhubaneswar: In a major boost to Odisha government’s promotion of sports, India’s first AIFF-FIFA Talent Academy to nurture football talents will be opened in Bhubaneswar.
The AIFF-FIFA Academy, to be launched under Talent Development Scheme of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), will be inaugurated by Arsene Wenger, Chief of Global Football Development, FIFA on November 21.
President of All India Football Federation (AIFF) Kalyan Chaubey in its official website said, “Arsene Wenger will visit India from November 19 to 23. During this period, he will inaugurate the Talent Academy. He and his team will meet ISL, I-League clubs and all those involved with youth development in Indian football.”
AIFF Acting Secretary General Satyanarayan M said, “This is a giant step towards our long-term vision and investing in youth as young as below 14 is perhaps the greatest start. We will start working on such similar endeavours in other parts of the country to ensure talent does not get overlooked.”
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed his happiness over the decision of FIFA in choosing Bhubaneswar to set up India’s first AIFF-FIFA Talent Academy.
R Vineel Krishna, secretary, Sports and Youth Service department, said, “We are very excited that Bhubaneswar has been selected for the FIFA Talent Academy. The Chief Minister has directed us to provide all support for the development of football in India. We are working in close partnership with AIFF to create the best facilities for our football players.”
FIFA has recommended Sergi Amezcua Fontrodona as the FIFA-trained coach. He will implement the project and act as the head coach at the FIFA-AIFF Academy.