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U17 World Cup

Sol Campbell on Indian football: You can’t change everything overnight

7:57 AM IST 29/10/17
Sol Campbell
The former Arsenal centre-back shared his thoughts on the standard of Indian football…

India are ranked 105th in the latest FIFA rankings.

Sol Campbell, who is part of FIFA’s Technical Study Group at the Under-17 World Cup, opined that India needs to speed up their development given that they are lagging behind most footballing countries.

“There could be countries 50 to 100 years ahead of India but you need to make a start somewhere. And ask what we need to do to catch up. The under-17 World Cup would have been a good exposure to that end. It will take time and more conversations with FIFA,” the former England international told reporters in the City of Joy.

He pointed that India needs to play more matches at the top level and also get a better understanding of how the beautiful game ought to be played.

The 43-year-old mentioned that India would certainly need help from foreigners in that regard.

“You can't change everything overnight. Cricket remains a major sport here. India shouldn’t go too far from their own DNA. But at the same time, you need exposure to how the game is played, you need to know how to qualify for tournaments and win games.

“For that you may need some foreign help. You need to learn when to allow opponents’ space and when to close them down and for that you need to be coached by the experts. You need to learn from good and bad results and you need to play more.”