NEW DELHI: Kushal Das, All India Football Federation's (AIFF) general secretary has said that lack of infrastructure and long-term vision are two of the biggest factors hampering the growth of football in Delhi.
Das's remarks came in an E-summit organised by Football Delhi, the governing body of football in India's national capital.
"Infrastructure is a problem in Delhi. After the U-17 World Cup, we have stadiums so much superior to the Ambedkar Stadium. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is not a football stadium. The experience there was so bad during ISL games," Goal.com quoted Das as saying.
"The capital is very important, so are the other cities. The AIFF has the structure and the knowledge base to help the state association. We can create a structure that is necessary for football to thrive again in Delhi. It will take some time but if you come to us, we are very willing to help," he added.
The AIFF general secretary also said that Football Delhi needs to come up with a well-thought strategic plan in order to attract sponsors and have a Delhi-based club.
"The football culture is sporadic in our country. Delhi had some sort of a culture, not anymore. There are people who are interested in football but you have to give them a strategic vision that this is what we want to achieve. Without that plan, it is very difficult. There are people who are interested and have money but you have to give them confidence," Das said.
"That is why it is very important that Football Delhi comes and works with the AIFF. If we work together, we can come up with a vision document. With that, you approach someone who has passion and money," he added.
Kushal Das also said that granting special exemptions or grants to Delhi would not be fair and the rules should be the same for everyone.
"I don't think that would be fair at all. It would be absolutely unfair. The AIFF has the technical know-how to support Football Delhi in terms of competitions, creating vision document, youth development, and grassroots," Das said.
"AIFF conducts 1,500 plus games in the leagues and about 32,000 baby leagues done by the operators, controlled by the AIFF. We have a very efficient I-League department, we can help them understand and learn what needs to be done," he concluded.