CHENNAI: The Vision India programme, launched about four years ago as part of the Asian Football Confederation's ambitious Vision Asia project, has been curtailed in India with the dropping of the venture in Tamil Nadu and Delhi.

The Vision India programme was aimed at raising football standards in the country from the grassroots level by bringing in a professional touch in every aspect of football administration. The erstwhile Tamil Nadu Football Association President, C.R. Visswanathan, was instrumental in getting Tamil Nadu included in this project.

The decision to drop the programme in the two states was taken in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday by the Vision Asia Bureau and the Technical and Vision Asia Committee meeting.

Support needed

AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam said Vision Asia could not operate in isolation and needed proactive support from the stakeholders.

“Vision Asia cannot work independently and needs to have commitments from member associations (MAs) and city or provincial football associations for its success. If the MAs are not willing to change their statutes and meet the demands of modern football, we have no option but to drop these projects.”

Visswanathan, spoke of the several meetings that the State officials had had with the AFC officials both in Chennai and Kuala Lumpur.

“At least half a dozen times AFC officials had visited the state to make assessments. The AFC had wanted amendment of the constitution to incorporate the provision for having a paid Secretary in place of the current elected Secretary. We had amended the constitution and even sent the copy to them,” he said. “It is very unfortunate that things should have happened this way.”

AIFF Secretary Alberto Colaco also received the news with a sense of shock.

TFA Secretary Sadatcharam said it was unexpected when the state unit was complying with many of the requirements laid out by the Asian body. — Special Correspondent

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