AIFF and Odisha Government ink MoU for FIFA-AIFF academy with Arsene Wenger’s presence
The AIFF and Odisha Government have signed an MoU to establish the AIFF-FIFA Talent Academy at the Odisha Football Academy in Bhubaneswar, witnessed by FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, Arsène Wenger.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Government of Odisha joined hands on Tuesday to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at establishing the AIFF-FIFA Talent Academy within the premises of the Odisha Football Academy in Bhubaneswar. The momentous agreement was signed in the presence of Arsène Wenger, FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development.
AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey and R. Vineel Krishna, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Department of Sports and Youth Services, Government of Odisha, formalized the MoU. Tushar Kanti Behera, Sports Minister of Odisha, was also part of the significant occasion.
Expressing gratitude towards the Government of Odisha and FIFA for their unwavering support to Indian Football, AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey highlighted the monumental presence of the legendary Arsène Wenger in India.
Chaubey stated, “Arsène Wenger’s guidance, leadership, and strategic approach will elevate India’s football dreams. Let’s take a stride towards qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Cup on merit and, ultimately, the senior FIFA World Cup. Through the AIFF-FIFA Talent Academy, we aim to cultivate our finest U-17 team within the next three years.”
Arsène Wenger conveyed his contentment with his team’s visit to India and praised the exceptional infrastructure and facilities observed at Odisha. Addressing the issue of global youth education in football, Wenger emphasized the necessity of providing equal opportunities to unearth talent across the world.
He remarked, “Our objective is to identify and nurture talent in India by providing robust education and a competitive platform. Footballing prowess begins with early education and ample opportunities. Our aim is to place India back on the football map by educating and fostering the potential of our children. No country holds more rights than any other to be at the top. Our collective endeavor is to empower children and shape them into exceptional players from an early age.”
Wenger stressed the importance of initiating football education at a young age, asserting that commencing training at five or six years old is crucial for nurturing footballing talent effectively.