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AIFF-FIFA football academy set to launch in Odisha on Nov 21

The inauguration of the highly anticipated All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) football academy in Odisha is set to become a reality on November 21, with Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, officiating the event. The establishment of this academy is part of the FIFA Talent Development Scheme, marking a significant milestone for Indian football. Odisha’s Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, announced FIFA’s decision to choose Bhubaneswar as the location for India’s inaugural AIFF-FIFA talent academy. Emphasizing the state’s commitment to supporting sports growth, Patnaik expressed the government’s collaboration with Indian Football to create top-notch facilities for nurturing football talents in the country.

R. Vineel Krishna, Secretary of the Sports and Youth Services department, revealed that the infrastructure for the academy is ready, and the state government will utilize Wenger’s visit to inaugurate the facility. A memorandum of understanding between the state government and FIFA is expected to be signed during Wenger’s visit. Around 40 to 50 football talents have already been selected for training in the academy, taking advantage of Bhubaneswar’s existing six FIFA-certified football grounds. The state government is actively working with AIFF to ensure the provision of top-notch facilities and meet the players’ requirements within the academy.

FIFA’s Talent Development Scheme aims to enhance the competitiveness of national teams by collaborating with member associations globally. Additionally, FIFA has initiated a talent coaching program to provide on-ground support to member associations. AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey highlighted Wenger’s visit, scheduled from November 19 to 23, during which he and his team will engage with ISL, I-League clubs, and stakeholders in Indian youth development football.


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