Stephen Constantine - 'Indian football should learn from Qatar's focus on youth development'

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Stephen Constantine Myanmar India 2017
MFF Media
The Blue Tigers' head coach was all praise for Qatar's policies on youth development and felt India could learn from the Asian nation..

Qatar's focus on development of young talents should be emulated by India for honing the stars for the future, according to Indian national football team coach Stephen Constantine. 

The English coach is in Qatar to oversee the India U23 team in the 2018 AFC U23 Championship qualifiers, where India beat Turkmenistan on Sunday night

Constantine was full of praise for Qatar Football Academy (QFA) and their strategic partners Aspire Academy and felt that their expertise will help All India Football Federation (AIFF) prioritise youth development. 

It is to be noted that Indian Super League (ISL) side Delhi Dynamos have an agreement with Aspire Academy in Qatar. 

"“QFA’s policies led to Qatar winning an Asian U19 title and Aspire have been leaders in talent scouting in the Middle East and Africa," he told before adding, "Their recent tie-up with Indian Super League club Delhi Dynamos is a step in the right direction. Should it work well, the next step could be for the QFA and AIFF to broaden the scope of the partnership.

"Indian football will welcome any external support from transparent institutions with proven expertise in talent development – the QFA and Aspire will have valuable knowledge to share in the fields of scouting, coach education, youth academy, nutrition and sports medicine." 

2018 AFC U-23 Championship qualification India Syria Qatar Turkmenistan coaches

Constantine, who has overseen a dramatic rise in stature of the Indian football team, also wanted expatriates in Qatar to try out for the Indian team and spoke about organising trials in Doha. 

"Talented Indian youngsters living in Doha could well be integrated into the official Indian football structure thanks to the AIFF’s overseas talent scouting programme, which was launched with an eye to identify talent for the FIFA U17 World Cup we will be hosting in October," the 54-year-old stated. 

Trials have already been organised in Dubai as part of the Overseas Talent Scouting Programme, which saw a couple of youngsters being invited to train with the U17 World Cup team, being coached by Luis Norton de Matos. 

Aspiring Indian youngsters in Doha have been encouraged to upload a video of themselves playing football to Provided enough players from Qatar submit videos, trials will be held in Doha.