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We need to develop quicker

“We need to develop quicker”

Alberto Colaco has been the General Secretary of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) since 2004.

Question: What are the AIFF’s current priorities?
Alberto Colaco: We have three. First of all, to recruit more people to work for the association; secondly, to launch our own professional league; and finally, to help our national teams improve though a number of development projects.

Question: What are you lacking most?
Alberto Colaco: We are lacking a little bit of everything to be honest. We obviously need more money, but as I have already mentioned, we also need more staff. At the moment, 12 people are working for the AIFF – that is clearly not enough. We need younger and more qualified employees.

Question: You still sound optimistic though when it comes to the future of football in India. What gives you cause for such a positive outlook?
Alberto Colaco: There is enormous potential for football to be successful in India. Interest for football keeps on growing, whether in terms of players – both male and female – or in terms of fans. We have to work together though to make sure that we don’t lose that sense of euphoria.

Question: Are you receiving enough support from the state associations?
Alberto Colaco: Everyone has to take the initiative, even the independent state associations. We want to pool our resources. That is why a professional league is so important to us. To start with, only a few states would be represented in such a league, so we would concentrate on developing amateur football in the other states at the same time.

Question: What are you hopes for FIFA’s “Win in India with India” programme?
Alberto Colaco: The visit of FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter in April gave our cause a huge boost. His visit created so much excitement. We are in productive discussions with the FIFA Development Division because FIFA can help us to develop quicker. That is necessary in all areas: infrastructure, image, administration, education – in every single area, actually.

Question: One billion people live in India. When will 20 or so of them manage to qualify for the World Cup?
Alberto Colaco: There is no direct link between a country’s population and the success of its national team. But if we start now, we will have the chance to build something. We need clear plans and the determination to push them through.