AIFF president Praful Patel calls for 'stronger football ecosystem' in India in next three years

Panaji: Focussed on building a stronger football ecosystem in the country, AIFF president Praful Patel plans to come up with a comprehensive roadmap for Indian football in the next three years.

"I-league (football tournament) is not gone away with. 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.

He said in the next two-three years, a strong and comprehensive road map for Indian football will be chalked out with everyone's participation.

 AIFF president Praful Patel calls for stronger football ecosystem in India in next three years

A file photo of AIFF president Praful Patel. Image courtesy: Twitter/@praful_patel

"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.

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and chairman and club president Shrinivas Dempo were also present on the occasion.

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.

During the function, the club's 50 best players of all time were felicitated by Parrikar.

Since its inception in 1967, Dempo has won a plethora of honours, including a record five National Football League and I-League titles.

Dempo was also the first Indian club to qualify for the semi-finals of the AFC Cup and take part in the AFC Champions League play-offs.

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Updated Date: May 24, 2017 09:32:24 IST