On Thursday, the All-India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Executive Committee, during their meeting in New Delhi, announced the renaming of the Santosh Trophy to FIFA Santosh Trophy. The decision came after the federation president, Kalyan Chaubey, shared the details of his discussions with FIFA regarding the National Football Championship of India.
The specific reason for the name change was not provided. The upcoming season of the FIFA Santosh Trophy is scheduled to take place in Arunachal Pradesh, with Chaubey mentioning that FIFA officials will visit the state to meet with local authorities.
Kalyan Chaubey Stated:
“I am happy to announce that after having discussions with FIFA, the Santosh Trophy will now be known as the FIFA Santosh Trophy. This entails that a team of FIFA officials will come to have a meeting with Arunachal Pradesh officials on the conduct of the tournament.”
“We also expect the FIFA President (Gianni Infantino) to be present for the final on March 9 or 10”
FIFA‘s Chief of Global Football Development and well-known coach, Arsene Wenger, is scheduled to visit India later this month. Chaubey expressed that Wenger’s visit would mark the beginning of a new phase in India’s plans and initiatives for youth development.
Kalyan Chaubey further added:
“We will hold detailed discussions with Wenger on plans to establish the proposed FIFA-AIFF academy. Our plan is not to have one, but five academies, one across each zone in India. India being a big country, I personally feel, one academy will not be enough, since it could throw up only 25-30 players in one batch. So, we have taken up this ambitious project of five academies.”
Chaubey additionally mentioned his intention to create an academy focused on developing skilled goalkeepers. As a former goalkeeper for India, the AIFF president shared with members that he recently had a meeting with the renowned former German goalkeeper, Oliver Kahn, who had visited India for personal reasons.
At the same time, the AIFF Executive Committee gave the green light to Chaubey’s suggestion to organize several I-league matches in cities across Jharkhand, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. Additionally, the committee officially endorsed the resolution to end the tenure of Shaji Prabhakaran as the Secretary General of AIFF. M Satyanarayan has been appointed as the Acting Secretary General of the AIFF.
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