Football
‘Ideally you want 40 academies’ Arsene Wenger lays down roadmap for AIFF

‘Ideally you want 40 academies’ Arsene Wenger lays down roadmap for AIFF

Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, has arrived in India to launch the ground-breaking Talent Development Scheme (TDS). Wenger has taken it upon himself to make India a footballing nation after thoroughly inspecting all of the facilities and infrastructure. To begin, he established an AIFF-FIFA Academy in Bhubaneswar, with intentions to establish a ’40’ […]

Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, has arrived in India to launch the ground-breaking Talent Development Scheme (TDS). Wenger has taken it upon himself to make India a footballing nation after thoroughly inspecting all of the facilities and infrastructure. To begin, he established an AIFF-FIFA Academy in Bhubaneswar, with intentions to establish a ’40’ more.

“Ideally you want 40 academies and no talent can escape without being detected,” said Wenger after establishing the AIFF-FIFA Academy.

TDS was launched with the goal of enhancing global competitiveness in men’s and women’s national-team football. Thus enabling more countries to excel internationally. The focus lies on academy investment. It aligns with FIFA’s aim to establish at least one high-performance academy or center of excellence in 75 member associations by 2027 through the FIFA Academies Programme.

FIFA is actively supporting member associations in coaching endeavors by offering knowledge and guidance through FIFA talent coaches. Wenger added that the world football governing body plans to establish the first academy and introduce its own coach and technical staff to help develop players.

“There are many children in the world who don’t get the chance to develop their talent, and we can change that,” said Arsene Wenger. “We want to develop elite players in countries where there’s potential for further development and India is definitely one of them. The talent potential here is huge. We will work hand in hand with the AIFF to unlock this potential.”

'Ideally you want 40 academies' Arsene Wenger sets roadmap for AIFF to make India a footballing nation after setting AiFF-FIFA Academy

The football academy in Bhubaneswar will open in collaboration with the Odisha government. FIFA took the initiative to provide technical expertise and coaching. The school will feature a residential facility for around 50 players who will get two years of training.

In India, full-time FIFA Talent Coach Sergi Amezcua will be deployed. Even a High-Performance Specialist Ged Roddy has been appointed to provide day-to-day guidance and expertise in the planning and implementation of the talent pathway.

The TDS initiative aligns with the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Vision 2047. This is in collaboration with the Indian Super League, the I-League, prominent clubs, academies, and regional state associations.

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