With eyes on the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, All India Football Federation (AIFF) have signed a deal with Brazilian club Atletico Paranaense. According to The Times of India, it will be a technical cooperation between AIFF and the Brazilian club where India’s U17 team will get a chance to train in South America and the Furacao’s youth team can tour India as well.
Proposed by the technical director of AIFF Robert Baan, the Dutchman got his wish as India and Atletico Paranaense, who currently sits 9th on the Brazilian top division Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A , have signed a contract until 2015 which is focused on getting the Indian U17 team ready for the World Cup in 2017.
“The present contract runs till December 2015 and we would love to extend it on a long term basis. We are starting an Under-15 league next year and the boys from Brazil may take part in this,” said AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das upon announcing the finalization of the arrangement.
According to the contract, the boys from India will train for a minimum of 30 days a year at the club’s facilities as well as exchange of knowledge and technical aspects regarding coaching and training. Das also mentioned plans to have similar deals with other big clubs in Europe and Asia to shape themselves in order to showcase the world what Indian football has to offer through their youth.
Luis Greco, Director of International Affairs, Atletico Paranaense emphasized the mark his club made on developing young footballers saying “it has been great day for the life of the Club, a dream has been fulfilled. We will contribute 100% for the development of Indian Football. Paranaense has always been a reference for youth development in Brasil. Kleberson, Fernandinho are all products of our Youth system. And if you look across, there have been minimum three to four products from our system presently playing in Premier Clubs across Europe.”, reported by Sportskeeda.com.
Perhaps the most hopeful statement was conveyed by Dr. Luis Sallim, vice-president of Atlético Paranaense when he said “through this partnership, we aim to have an Indian Footballer in our Team. Let’s believe it.”