All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Praful Patel has announced plans for a National Centre of Excellence to be set up in India. Patel was speaking at a press conference at Delhi, ahead of the U-17 World Cup scheduled to kick-off in less than two weeks' time.
"We have not shortlisted the location but it is in advanced stage. We are setting up a national training centre of excellence which will be the home of the Indian national team, junior and women’s team. We are wanting to build a world class centre of excellence," said Patel.
He mentioned that talks are at an advanced stage and that there is a possibility of FIFA lending its support for the project.
"We should have a permanent facility for everything – from physical training to swimming room to classrooms to mental conditioning. We are in talks and I don’t want to go beyond that at this point. It may cost us over 100 crores INR. Hopefully we will get FIFA supporting us in this initiative as much as we will reach out to private sponsors. It would have at least a couple of fields so that there is enough space. We want to host it in a place where there is more competitive sport available because you can’t be putting it in the backwaters. You won’t get teams to play competitive games," he stated.
"A lot of talks are at an advanced stage and it is not yet finalized. As soon as the World Cup is over, we will announce the location. We hope to commence the work as early as 2018 so that it is ready in an year and a half," he added.