Zurich: Newly elected FIFA president Gianni Infantino wants to see Indian football get out of the 'sleeping giant' stage and make tangible progress.
The Swiss won the FIFA presidential election on Friday succeeding Sepp Blatter, who has been suspended for six years following a massive corruption scandal which led to the Swiss authorities and the FBI in the US launch separate investigations.
The UEFA general secretary, who had been UEFA chief Michel Platini's right-hand man for long, secured 115 votes out of 207 in the second round of polls.
"I want to see kids playing football in the schools in Oceania. I want to see Asia, China, India developing their football. I want to see football growing all over the world. And people looking at FIFA as the organisation who helps each country in the world to develop football and who helps kids to smile because they have a ball and they can play with it," Infantino was quoted as saying by goal.com on Saturday.
The 45-year-old Swiss also spoke of major developments in the game which he wants to see by 2020. His list includes growth of football in West Indies and Africa too.
"In 2020, which is four years from now, I don't know if I will still be the president, I hope so, but I don't know because in 2019 there will be a new election. But in 2020, I want to see big development of football all over the world, in all countries. I want to see some concrete actions done by FIFA and done by each and every national association when it comes to football development. I want to see the Caribbean league playing, I want to see grassroots, academies in Africa."
India are currently placed 162nd in the FIFA rankings. They will host the U-17 World Cup in 2017. IANS