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Explained: What is AIFF's 'Project Diamond'

Published at :April 16, 2023 at 8:10 PM
Modified at :April 16, 2023 at 8:10 PM
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The initiative will aim to develop world-class players by bringing major stakeholders of Indian football on board.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has been hard at work to ideate and implement new projects to develop Indian football. In this direction, it recently introduced Project Vision 2047 - a strategic roadmap that aims to work towards developing Indian football at multiple levels and revamping the current structures.

The Executive Committee of the AIFF recently held a conference to announce a few key projects that will help in achieving the objectives lined up in Vision 2047. They will aim to revolutionize women’s football in India and also work extensively at the grassroots level to develop young players, providing them with quality resources by working in tandem with NGOs, clubs, and other major stakeholders of Indian football from private and public sectors. 

One of the major announcements from the conference on Friday was the introduction of Project Diamond. Here is a look at what the programme is and what it strives to work towards to help Indian football’s development:

Project Diamond

The Executive Committee initiates Project Diamond, which will work towards elite players' development in India. Former Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger, who works as the FIFA Chief of Global Football Development, will be playing an active role in Project Diamond through the FIFA Talent Development Scheme (TDS). The legendary manager leads the TDS and his expertise will be vital in the development of elite players in India.

Stakeholders like the Indian Super League, the I-League, and elite academies are expected to be part of Project Diamond. The objective of the programme is to produce an ‘iconic star’, one who possesses the quality and skills to play at the highest level. Someone like Sunil Chhetri perhaps.

Furthermore, Project Diamond will lead to the establishment of an elite league and FIFA Talent Development Scheme officials are set to visit India in May 2023 to hold key discussions in this matter. 

Promising Initiative

Project Diamond is ambitious and it will play a key role in achieving objectives in the strategic roadmap - Vision 2047. In this context, AIFF Secretary General Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran said, “We have never had a comprehensive grassroots structure and initiatives and we hope that through Blue Cubs and Project Diamond, we will be able to have a robust grassroots and elite player development structure in our system."

President of the AIFF, Kalyan Chaubey also spoke ambitiously while announcing the aforementioned projects. He said, “This was a landmark Executive Committee meeting, where crucial decisions were taken that would directly impact the future of football in India and take it in a direction that was elaborated by the Strategic Roadmap, Vision 2047.”