January 1 – Under the title Vision 2047, India has launched a new roadmap to develop the domestic game with six four-year strategic plans and with the aim of making India an Asian powerhouse.
The new roadmap has lofty ambitions as it looks to create to groundwork for an increased Indian presence on the world stage. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) wants to tackle some of the major weaknesses in the Indian game – in particular at grassroots, the weak national league and the underwhelming national team. The federation is targeting India to be become one of Asia’s top four football nations, home to a top league and a vibrant ecosystem.
“At a time when India’s role is becoming increasingly prominent on the world stage, we embark on a journey as ambitious as our nation itself,” AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey said at the launch of the plan.
“However, this is not a journey for the Federation alone, but one that will be traversed together by every entity that is connected to Indian Football.”
The roadmap includes inputs from both FIFA and the AFC with the first of the six strategic plans covering the period until 2026. At the elite level, the federation wants to ensure players get 50+ matches per season. The body also wants to reach 35 million children across Indian villages.
India hosted the U-17 World Cup in 2017 and in 2022, but those major international tournaments did little to help the grassroots game, the top-down approach failing spectacularly. It’s one of the reasons why the Indians did not prioritise the hosting of the 2027 Asian Cup, which the AFC ultimately awarded to Saudi Arabia.
“I dream of reviving the glory days of Indian Football as it was in the 1950s and 60s and becoming a powerhouse of Asian football once again,” said Chaubey. “It is our right to dream and our duty to do everything it takes to fulfil that dream.”
The AIFF also wants to uplift the women’s game, which the governing body conceded has been neglected. To that end, officials acknowledged the minimum salary needs to be improved. They also said there was gender disparity at the grassroots level.
As ever the proof will be in the pudding. Indian football once produced Lakshya, a voluminous roadmap replete with visions of Dutch football and 4-3-3 that ultimately became infamous for its irrelevance. The country will expect more from Vision 2047.
To see the full Vision 2047 presentation, click here.
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