India needs to have a strong base to be on par with the rest of the world – AIFF president Praful Patel

The president of the Indian FA was pleased with the national team captain’s move to the Portuguese side and heralded the same…

Praful Patel, the president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), believes that for Indian football to come even close to the levels of some of the best in the world, the focus has to be shifted to the grassroots.

 "AIFF's objective is that if India's football has to be on par with the rest of the world, we need to have a strong base. The real issues in football in India sometimes gets ignored by media, but the AIFF is now trying very hard to improve grassroots of the game,” Patel was quoted saying at a conference.

 With Indian national team skipper Sunil Chhetri signing for Portugal’s Sporting Clube de Portugal’s B side, Patel hailed it as a “remarkable” moment for Indian football just a day after the FIFA rankings were releases wherein India is ranked 163rd in the world and 32nd in Asia.

"This is a beginning of a new era in Indian football," he said.

"This is a milestone for Indian football. The star of Indian football is going to join one of the best clubs in the world and will play with some the world’s best football players. Sunil Chhetri will not only be the brand ambassador for Indian football but will also bring international focus towards India.” he added.

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