New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) The Technical Committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) met via video conferencing on Saturday under the chairmanship of former India captain I.M. Vijayan and deliberated on the scouting process to select the national team for SAFF U-16 Championship.
Apart from Vijayan, the Technical Committee members, Pinky Bompal Magar, Climax Lawrence, Arun Malhotra, Harjinder Singh and Eugeneson Lyngdoh were also present in the meeting, along with AIFF Chief Technical Officer Vincent Subramaniam and Technical Director Syed Sabir Pasha.
The upcoming SAFF U-16 Championship in September, the schedule for which is yet to be finalised by the South Asian Football Federation, was the first topic of discussion for the Committee, which deliberated on the scouting process to identify the core squad that will represent India in the competition.
The Committee recommended that trials be held across the country, dividing the nation into five regions — North, South, East and North East combined, West, and Central and North combined.
Two coaches will be assigned to each zone, with 30 players being identified from the respective regions, trials will be held in five centres. Thereafter, 18 players will be selected from the five zones and brought into camp in Bhubaneswar in June. After intensive trials and trial matches in Bhubaneshwar, the overall squad will be shortened, aiming to build the team for the main championship, an AIFF media release said.
The coaching staff for the team will be recommended by the Technical Committee shortly.
The Technical Committee also recommended a new Coach Education system, which would come into effect from July 1, 2023. The new Coach Education module will see the B, C, and D License modules teaching the student coaches about football at the junior or amateur levels, while the A and Pro License attendees will get more detailed training on professional coaching.
The Blue Cubs, an elite grassroots programme to spread football across the country, was launched earlier this month.
The Committee recommended that certain modifications be made to the sizes of the playing fields and the composition of the teams for certain age groups, to better develop technical skills amongst the youth players.
The Elite Blue Cubs that come through the Grassroots system will play in a 5v5 format, and then progress to the U-13 level, where they will get to play 7v7 football, with two halves of 25 minutes each. The format further increases the game to a 9v9 format for the U-15s, with the time being increased to 35 minutes a half. Finally, the youth players will get to play in 11v11 competitions at the U-17 level, with two halves of 40 minutes each.
The Committee recommended the temporary disbanding of the India U-20 national team, currently stationed in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, as it has no tournament to play soon. It suggested the players should return to their respective clubs for now and should be called back on the eve of the next tournament.