Indian Football

Our target is to get India back on the World Football map: Arsene Wenger

Gourav SamalGourav Samal
November 21 2023
Arsene Wenger, Kalyan Chaubey FIFA-AIFF academy launch press conference

Arsene Wenger is impressed with the facilities & quality of infrastructure present in Odisha.

FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger & AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey in a press conference in AIFF-FIFA Talent Academy launch

FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger, graced an event held in Bhubaneswar, wherein a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the All India Football Federation and the Government of Odisha. This MOU marked the establishment of the AIFF-FIFA Talent Academy at the Odisha Football Academy in Bhubaneswar.

In the presence of Mr. Wenger and Mr. Tusharkanti Behera, Minister of Sports for Odisha, the memorandum was signed by Mr. Kalyan Chaubey, the President of AIFF and Mr. Vineel Krishna, the Commissioner-cum-Secretary of the Department of Sports and Youth Services, Government of Odisha.

Arsene Wenger’s ideation of football culture

The AIFF-FIFA Talent Academy is an innovative initiative in India, aiming to provide aspiring talents in the country with a conducive environment to thrive in their respective sports. It serves as a unique platform for nurturing and developing budding athletes, enabling them to reach their full potential.

Mr. Wenger appeared to be highly delighted to be present in Odisha, India. In addition to praising the available resources for the youth in the state of Odisha, he subtly expressed his confidence in Indian football and expressed optimism regarding its future development and prominence.

He said, “I’m happy to be in India with my team. I saw the facilities and the quality of infrastructure is great here in Odisha. We’ve realized that among 211 countries, most have no real youth education. The best countries have good education systems for young children. So, many children don’t even get the chance.”

“Giving every talent in the world a chance is what our program is about. To identify the talent in India, give good education and good level of competition to make great players. How long it could take, we don’t know, but without education we’ll remain where we are.

“Our target is to get India back on the map. No country has more rights than any other to be on the top. Our huge effort is to educate children to get them as good as they can be. You cannot start to play football at 15, you need to start at five or six”, Arsene Wenger added.

Kalyan Chaubey’s vision for India

Mr. Kalyan Chaubey expressed his gratitude to the President of FIFA and commended the Government of Odisha for their unwavering commitment to sports development in our country. He also expressed his aspirations to establish a formidable football team in the years to come. He stated, “I thank the Government of Odisha and FIFA President for his support to Indian Football in every possible way. The result of that is the presence of the legendary Mr. Arsène Wenger today in India”

“It is a very common question to the AIFF president when will India play the World Cup at senior level? Let’s take a small step towards the U-17 World Cup. Thereafter they can take next steps and be one of the greatest in World Football. I have high hopes because of the presence of Arsene Wenger through this AIFF-FIFA academy. We can definitely get our best national team in the under-17 category in the next three years”, he added. 

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