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Lack of coaches, academies hampering the game: Koevermans

Principal Correspondent
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DISAPPOINTED:National coach Wim Koevermans says there is no coaching structure in India or a central football academy where all talent can come and train.
DISAPPOINTED:National coach Wim Koevermans says there is no coaching structure in India or a central football academy where all talent can come and train.

Indian football coach Wim Koevermans said lack of quality coaches and academies was hampering the progress of football in the country.

“We have three for four academies in India which is grossly inadequate for a big country. The I-League clubs also don’t have their own academies. There is no coaching structure in India or a central football academy where all talent can come and train. We have impressed upon the I-League teams to start their own academies. Having an own academy is a norm all over the world but in India it is not,” Koevermans said.

Koevermans, who was the chief guest at the annual day celebrations of LNCPE, took time off to speak to the media. The 52-year-old was impressed with the talent available in India “We have enough talent but the problem is there isn’t any concrete plan to nurture the talents. There aren’t enough coaches in India,” he said.

“And a lot of work need to be done to improve the infrastructure in India. It is sad to note that many of the I-League clubs do not have a stadium of their own. Again the I-League teams have been asked to build the necessary infrastructure by the AIFF,” he said.

I-League

Koevermans was also not happy with the way the I-League was being held. “What is the point in holding I-League matches on working days when there is none to watch the matches. Holding matches at three in the afternoon is criminal. How can players give their best in the sultry climate. The matches should be held under floodlights and should be conducted during the weekends,” he said.

The Indian coach expressed the hope that Kerala which has a strong following in football will produce more footballers to the national side.

“When we played against Palestine at Kochi, there was only one Kerala player in the squad.

“But given the interest and fan following the game has in Kerala. I am sure Kerala can produce more football players. Hopefully Kerala will start an academy of its own which is important for the development of the game,” he said.

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