The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is all set to launch a FIFA academy in Bhubaneswar, Odisha on Tuesday, 21 November 2023. The AIFF-FIFA academy will be rolled out under the FIFA Talent Development Scheme, and Arsene Wenger – the chief of FIFA will inaugurate it in the state. This will be the first ever AIFF-FIFA talent academy of the country, and definitely a wonderful opportunity for all the football aspirants of India.
Mr Sergi Amezcua Fontrodona will be appointed as the head coach of AIFF-FIFA academy. "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. It is certainly exciting times for Indian Football", said AIFF Acting Secretary General Mr Satyanarayan M.
The main aim of establishing the AIFF-FIFA academy is to provide a world-class facility to the football players of the country. After visiting the Football house on Monday, 20 November 2023, Mr Wenger said, "I would say I was always fascinated by India. My target is to improve football in the world. And it is impossible that a country like India, 1.4 billion, is not on the football world map."
He further added, "I believe you have huge assets, fantastic qualities that make me very optimistic about what you can do here. It is absolutely fantastic to have that opportunity. And with my team, we are really highly motivated to help this country develop in the game. I'm convinced that it's possible in the very short term."
According to reports, AIFF and FIFA will enter into an agreement regarding the upgradation of National Football championship for the Santosh Trophy. This agreement will last for a period of 5 years. Renamed to FIFA Santosh Trophy, the tournament will be held on a different level to showcase the talent of Indian footballers.