FIFA chief Gianni Infantino has discussed the infrastructure, development of grassroots, men’s and women’s football in India with newly elected AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey, world soccer’s governing body said.
Infantino held a meeting to personally congratulate Chaubey on his recent election as president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The two discussed a wide range of topics related to the development of men’s, women’s, youth and grassroots football in India, FIFA said in a press release.
After being elected president in the AIFF elections on September 2, Chaubey, a former professional football player, revealed bold reform plans to develop football in India, with a strong focus on infrastructure, grassroots and women’s football. Speaking after the meeting, Chaubey thanked Infantino for his words of encouragement and praised the role FIFA plays in the development of football around the world.
— Indian football team (@IndianFootball) September 10, 2022
“(FIFA’s support) is very essential as they help promote the sport in India,” Chaubey said. “So, this is how we have spoken with the president of FIFA and I am honored that he has given his stamp and I am happy and hoping that FIFA and the Indian Football Federation will work together to bring Indian football to the level international.
“Mr. Infantino has been a great support and encouragement, and I hope we will go a long, long way.”
The AIFF is in the final stages of its preparations to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, which will be played in three cities and will start on October 11 and run until October 30.
In 2017, India hosted an unprecedented men’s edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup with more than 1.2 million people attending the matches. Infantino received an update on preparations leading up to the 16-team tournament.
Chaubey spoke about his hopes for the upcoming tournament and how he and the FIFA president discussed how to take advantage of the opportunity it creates in their vast country, he said.
“The Indian Football Federation, allied with the Government of India, identified 40 venues, 40 cities and areas where this FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup replica will be held, and then each of the 40 venues will have a match, a football match,” Chaubey explained.
“We will make sure that people living all over India know how the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will take place, and I am sure that having a (female) President from India this time and a Women’s World Cup of FIFA The World Cup that is being played will have a great impact for Indian women all over the world.
Chaubey, a former goalkeeper who has represented both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in his playing days, was accompanied by the new secretary general of the national federation, Shaji Prabhakaran, to Qatar, the host country of the upcoming FIFA World Cup. .
Chaubey was elected president of AIFF after defeating former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia 33-1 in the September 2 election.
Chaubey, 45, leader of West Bengal’s Bharatiya Janta Party, is the first former player to be elected as chairman of Indian football’s governing body.