Sunil Chettri, captain of the Indian football team, spoke in favour of the young Indian footballers who are increasingly putting up impressive performances for their respective teams and has asked for their call up to the national team. Mighty impressed by youngsters like Cavin Lobo, C S Sabeeth and Balwant Singh, Chettri has urged the new coach of the Indian football team, who would take over the mantle from Wim Koevermans, to have a look at them. Some of these players have had the chance to represent India at the international level but could not consolidate their position in the team. The poster boy of Indian football was also critical of the current state of the game in the country.
“We have 1.3 billion population and see at these countries like Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. These small countries are ahead of India in FIFA rankings. How can you explain this. We are in the 20s in the rankings among Asian countries. It is sad,” he said. Also talking about his club, Bengaluru FC (the current I League champions), he said it has focused primarily on performing well at the Asian club level and hence justified the club’s decision to not allow its players to participate in the Indian Super League. Asked how much Indian football standard has improved in the few years he has been the captain of the national side, he said, “It’s not that it has not improved but, of course, it has not improved at the pace it should have”. Chettri was all praise for grassroot programmes like the 4X4 league for schoolchildren nad hailed it as one of the initiatives to take forward Indian football.
The league, which started on !6th November in Delhi, Pune and Bangalore alongside the current cities – Dehradun and Mumbai, would see talented childre get the oppurtunity to get training at the FC Metz Academy in France.Eric Benny, the man behind the initiative, said “We will select 25 elite children from the 4 vs 4 league which will continue for another seven Sundays. We will groom them and give them foreign exposure. If any kid is talented enough, he can get training at the FC Metz Academy in France,”
[author image=”http://www.aapkatimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Anurag.jpg” ]I am Anurag Sharma pursuing bachelor in Journalism and Mass Communication from Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies, Delhi. Football is like a religion for me and one day I wish to become a sports journalist. [/author]