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The All India Football Federation’s Futsal Committee Meeting was conducted online today and was chaired by Mr. Vijay Bali.
AIFF Secretary General Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran and Deputy Secretary General Mr. Sunando Dhar were present in the meet, along with Chairman Mr. Vijay Bali, Deputy Chairman Mr. Amit Khemani, Mr. Kuljit Singh, Mr. Lalrengpuia, Mr. Syed Husnain Ali Naqvi, Mr. Ravinder Prasad Singh, Mr. Naresh Singh Rana, Mr. S Achu, Mr. BS Mehra. Ms. Chung Chung Bhutia and Mr. Mohammad Shahid Jabbar were granted a leave of absence.
“Futsal will play a very important role in the development of the game in India, and I am sure that this Committee will take proactive measures to help grow the sport across the country,” said Dr. Prabhakaran. “This Committee will be fully empowered with strategies and policies to enlarge operations in India. Going forward, we would also love to see the National Team compete in international tournaments as well.”
Committee Chairman Mr. Vijay Bali said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members to the first meeting of the Futsal Committee. We are all delighted to be on board to develop futsal in India. I would also like to thank President Kalyan Chaubey and Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran for constituting this committee.”
The Committee, in its first order of the day, recommended that the Hero Futsal Club Championship 2022-23 season will have a total of 13 teams, and will be played at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, New Delhi from January 9 to 22, 2023. It was also recommended that the top three teams from last season’s Championship be given direct entry, in order to maintain continuity.
The clubs that will take part in the Hero Futsal Club Championship 2022-23 are – Juggernaut FC (Gujarat), Electric Veng FC (Mizoram), Delhi FC (2022-23 champions), Bengaluru FC (2022-23 third place), Dzawo 11 FC (Ladakh), Bangalore Premier Soccer Schools (Karnataka), Minerva Academy FC (Punjab), Aphuyemi FC (Nagaland), Speed Force FC (Telangana), Capital Complex FC (Arunachal Pradesh), Techtro Swades United FC (Himachal Pradesh), Mohammedan SC (2022-23 runners-up and West Bengal champions), Sports Odisha (Odisha).
It was recommended that teams will be divided into two groups of seven and six teams respectively, where they will play in the round-robin format, before proceeding to the knockout rounds.
The Committee recommended that the AIFF should nominate the champions of the 2022-23 season to play in the AFC Futsal Club Championship and that it sends scouts to the HFCC to find possible players for its National Team, which would also take part in the AFC Futsal Asian Cup Qualifiers in October 2023.
In order to scout a larger number of players for the AFC Futsal Asian Cup Qualifiers, the Committee recommended that the 2023-24 edition of the championship be held early in the season during the monsoon, as the weather is unlikely to affect an indoor sport. The State FAs will also be given prior intimation of the deadlines within which they would be required to complete their respective leagues.
The Secretary-General also mentioned that the AIFF plans to invite experts from FIFA and the AFC to help improve the game for the future.
“We are in talks with FIFA and AFC to help in capacity-building workshops for our Member Associations so that they would also be in a better place to grow futsal in the future,” said Dr. Prabhakaran. “We want an overall development in futsal – both men’s and women’s.”
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