Several coaches have been compelled to take up other odd jobs amidst the pandemic as academies have halted operations for the time being.

The Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC) has come up with the COVID-19 Coach Stimulus Program. This initiative aims to provide a basic food package to 1000 football coaches across the country for the next three months. Sporting Lions Foundation and GiveIndia Foundation are joining hands with the AIFC in this noble enterprise.

In accordance with this project, the coaches will receive rice, pulses, oil and sugar in a quantity that can feed a family of four members for a month. Moreover, masks and sanitizers will also be added to the list. Dinesh Nair, the director of AIFC, spoke to The Times of India on this issue. He said, “We are also adding masks and sanitizers to that list. It’s important that we focus on their safety in times of the pandemic. We will ensure that the coaches have enough for the next three months.”

ALSO READ: Young Legends League: The incubator of dreams in the hills of Northeast

Nair added, “AIFC is formed for the welfare of our coaches, not just to conduct workshops, conferences or webinars. We have to help and support during times like these.” The coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected football coaches in India, especially the ones who hone younger talents at the grassroots levels. The lockdown and the subsequent surge in the number of cases means that almost all sporting activities have come to a halt for the time being.

Academies are not functioning either and this forced the coaches to take up odd jobs to support their livelihoods. Recently, news emerged that three upcoming tacticians from Mumbai named Prasad Bhosale, Siddesh Srivastav and Samrat Rana had embarked on a similar course. Srivastav and Rana are delivering home-made kebabs and working as delivery man in a restaurant respectively. Bhosale is compelled to sell vegetables to make a living out of the ongoing situation.

India has 8,796 registered coaches and 6,577 of them possess the basic D coaching license too. The stimulus package provides basic relief to 1000 individuals. Gradually, the AIFC must look to collaborate with more organizations in order to increase the number of beneficiaries through their scheme. They have, so far, looked to keep the coaches engaged by organizing several virtual seminars. But, to attend to their well-being will possibly work for the betterment of Indian football in the longer term.

For more updates, follow Khel Now on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and join our community on Telegram.