The Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) launched the online portal of the SAI-AIFF Overseas Scouting Project (OSP) in the presence of the honourable Minister of State – Independent Charge for Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Vijay Goel. The portal will allow the boys with a valid Indian passport but living outside India the opportunity to electronically present their football-playing talent directly to the scouts of India’s 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup team through a video. The portal will be available at scouting.the-aiff.com and will go live in conjunction with the kick-off of India’s opening game against the UAE in the AFC U-16 Championship on September 15 at 19.00 hours IST.
Speaking while announcing the launch of the portal, Shri Vijay Goel said that the Overseas Scouting Project is an excellent idea, as it will give the Indians living overseas a feeling of belonging and at the same time it will help to strengthen the Indian football team further. Shri Goel congratulated former Indian captain Shri Abhishek Yadav for the thought and execution of the project saying that the portal will help take Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Khelo India’ initiative ahead. He said that the portal can be used not only for football but also for other sports beyond the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Shri Injeti Srinivas, DG SAI, said that the project would help other age groups apart from U-17. He added, “It is a project with good intentions as it increases our outreach to the large Indian diaspora in countries like the United States of America, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and more.”
Shri Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF, said, “We think that it is in the interest of developing football in India that we should tap the eligible Indian talents across the world.” He admitted that the overseas scouting was his favourite project and thanked the SAI and the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports for their support for the project as well as for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017. He added that going forward, the overseas scouting may help in unearthing talents not just for the U-17 team but even for other age-group teams.
The launch of the event was held at the SAI headquarters in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Complex in New Delhi on September 12, 2016.
Stephen Constantine (Head Coach, India Senior National Team) and Nicolai Adam (Head Coach, India U-17 World Cup team) were also present at the event.
(Report courtesy: AIFF Media / Photo courtesy: Vijay Goel via Twitter)