Rijiju was speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing Hero Intercontinental Cup in Ahmedabad.
“We have seen certain improvements in our men’s as well as women’s football in recent times. From the sports ministry, we will provide extra financial help wherever it’s possible to scout, and nurture young talents as well as for the professional training, and other events,” Rijiju said in an interview to the AIFF.
Further, the newly elected minister also didn’t hide his affinity for football before adding that his ministry will strive to put extra attention to better coaching, training, and facilities.
“The ministry of sports will provide whatever is required for better training, coaching, facilities, and other demands and requirements whichever will be placed by the AIFF. We’ll always be there,” he said.
“I’m very enthusiastic about supporting any kind of sport in India, and football is very special for me,” Rijiju added.
He also praised India’s senior women’s team for its recent progress in the FIFA rankings that was released on July 12.
“I must compliment the women’s team for rising to 57 in the FIFA rankings recently. That’s a huge jump. I’m very confident that the standard of the women’s team will rise further,” he said.
“Football is the biggest game in terms of popularity, reach, size. We also have to put a lot of effort to improve our football. Be it a village or a city, football is a game which can be played anywhere. I’m very hopeful that the standard of Indian football will rise in the years to come
Rijiju Launches Golden Baby League handbook
Not only that, the Sports Minister also launched the All India Football Federation’s Golden Baby Leagues handbook 2019-20.
The launch also marked the rechristening of the ‘AIFF Baby Leagues’ to ‘AIFF Golden Baby Leagues’. The emphasis here is being laid on players from ages under 6 to under 12 both for girls and boys.
“Baby League sounds very cute to me. The actual scouting has to start from a very young age. I have been explained how it’s planned by the AIFF. I’m really interested to see the result of that. We’ll look to put more emphasis on the Golden Baby League tournament,” Rijiju said.
The handbook will guide the stakeholders to organise the newly named league. The Golden Baby Leagues’ aim is to provide access to football in localities notwithstanding of religion, gender, economic background, or ethnic origin.
Anyone can organize the league as long as the handbook guidelines are followed.