The inaugural edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) has been a runaway success and new Indian national team coach Stephen Constantine showed a keen interest in the football plans of Mrs. Nita Ambani, chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) who are the brains behind the ISL.
The ISL launched its grassroots initiative which shall target a minimum of 500,000 children through in-school and maidan initiatives and also distribute 100,000 footballs with a specific focus on towns and villages across the country.
Constantine was all praise for ISL’s grassroots programme and believes that such dedication by the sports arm of Reliance was an example for some of the other corporates in the country to follow.
“Yes, I did see some of the action and more importantly the interest that the ISL generated. Honestly I think it has had a huge impact on Indian football. The grassroot programme is the soul of ISL and I hope we will benefit in the long term as it would eventually help the national team. Reliance Foundation would be helping the talented youngsters by providing full scholarships, which is certainly a testament to Mrs. Ambani’s love for football,” Constantine told Goal.
“I am and always will give youth the opportunity to play and I really would like to hear more about their (Reliance’s) projects. For India to be successful it will take all of us involved in football to make it work, by all I mean AIFF, local coaches and of course all major corporates and sponsors,” he expounded.
The former Rwanda national coach believes that India who are lying at the 171st spot in the world rankings would certainly improve in the years to come.
“Well I certainly don’t want us to be 171 in the world in five years’ time that’s for sure, I think in recent years a lot of good things have been done in Indian football and there has been improvement. First thing for me is to get into work and go through the set up see what is working what is not and take it from there. I don’t see the value on making rash predictions other then we will get better,” he remarked.