The Indian team is in Dubai for a training camp before they head off to Barcelona for a month for further preparations for the Nehru Cup. Bhaichung Bhutia feels that Indian, ranked 147th in the latest FIFA rankings, must learn from DPR Korea, ranked 83 in the world.
“I think we need to draw inspiration from North Korea. Their
national team has been together for three years and they have qualified to the
2010 FIFA World Cup. A few years back, we drew against North Korea.
a developing country like ours there are bound to be difficulties, but the
national team has to be supported because if they don't do well then no one is
going to benefit,” Bhaichung was quoted saying.
Sniper was asked about his vision for India and like most Indians, he stated
that qualification for the World Cup is the greatest dream.
“My vision is to see India qualify for the FIFA World Cup.
Of course, there are a lot of things that need to be changed starting with the
grassroots, the youth development programmes and the infrastructure.
under-14s and under-16s and under-18s need to have qualified coaches. Here it's
not about the Indian population; it's more about infrastructure and development,”
said the Indian skipper.
added that following Bob Houghton’s appointment as the national coach, things
have changed in Indian football, which comprises of the federation, players,
fans and scribes included.
have been a lot of changes under coach Bob Houghton. The AIFF (All India
Football Federation) has given him a lot of support. On the whole, it's been
difficult, but it's a good first step.
think the change has been in the mind. It has been a big challenge to alter
this mindset among people (media, the fans, the officials and the clubs),” said
the 32 year old.
striker was also quizzed about his future plans and that whether he would until
the all important 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar.
could be playing till 2018. At the moment, my mind says, "Yes, I want to
play till 2011,” he added.