The All India Football Federation (AIFF) signed a historic agreement with Brazilian outfit Clube Atlético Paranaense (CAP), on Thursday (November 13) at AIFF Headquarters, the Football House.
The agreement sees the Brazilian outfit contributing for the development of Indian football and help in building a strong India U-17 national team for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held in India.
Besides Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF, Dr. Luis Sallim, Vice-President, Atlético Paranaense and Luis Greco, Director of International Affairs, Atlético Paranaense were present on the occasion; as were Cesar Bonamigo, Deputy Chief, Embassy of Brazil in India, Mauro Federici, Director, Brazil-India Chamber of Commerce and Roberto ‘Beto’ Mendes da Silva amongst others.
The partnership deals in exchange of knowledge among coaches, technical knowhow as to how to train, participation of AIFF Youth Teams in Camps at Atlético premises in Brazil, etc.
“Today is a significant day for Indian football as we are starting a long-term collaboration with a club which will contribute a lot of technical knowhow for the development of a strong Indian side in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017,” Das said in the media gathering.
“I would like to inform that the idea was floated by our Technical Director Robert Baan who envisaged the U-17 national squad’s need to play in various continents as they prepare for the U-17 World Cup,” he added. “It’s basically a technical contract. For minimum 30 days in a year, our boys would practice and learn at their premises. At the same time, they would also come on an exchange tour and both teams would participate in a tournament in the two countries.”
“The present contract runs till December 2015 and we would love to extend it on a long term basis,” he maintained.
Dr. Sallim admitted it’s a “huge responsibility.”
“Besides developing good players we stress on grooming good human beings. Nothing will obstruct us to reach our main goal,” he pronounced.
“AIFF will be a very good partner and I challenge that within a year, all in India would be happy about choosing Paranaense as a partner,” he said.
“Believe me, in ten years, Indian football can reach can a great level. Believe it!” he stressed.
Luis Greco mentioned the role of AIFF Technical Director Rob Baan in the “formulation of this partnership.”
“It has been great day for the life of the club, a dream has been fulfilled. We will contribute 100% for the development of Indian football. Paranaense has always been a reference for youth development in Brazil.”
“Kleberson, Fernandinho are all products of our youth system. And if you look across, there have been minimum three to four products from our system presently playing in premier clubs across Europe.”
Dr. Sallim summed it up perfectly. “Through this partnership, we aim to have an Indian footballer in our team. Let’s believe it.”
(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)