The Central Government has undertaken an initiative to make football ‘a sport of choice’ in India through which they aim to reach 11 million children. The ‘massive’ school engagement program comes at a time when the sport is seeing renewed interest with ISL leading its older rival the I-league.
Indian football is seeing a sort of resurgence over the last decade. While English Premier League follower-ship is reaching new heights, the ISL has revamped the way Indian football is being consumed. Overtaking its older rival, the I-league, the Indian Super League has dawn fans who were previously uninvolved in the sport – even in regions not traditionally known for the sport like Chennai.
Sports minister Vijay Goel had earlier said that government would take steps to make football the no.1 sport in India, and yesterday, he declared a program to take football to the nook and cranny of the country.
“Engagement and incentivize schools to make children play football on regular basis,” read the info-graphic which was tweeted by the government.
The government is looking forward to reach out to 37 cities and 12,000 schools across 29 states. The initiative will be carried out in three phases until September 2017 including in-school activities and football festival.
Under the ‘Transforming India’ banner, the government’s mission is to reach 11 million children through a ‘massive’ school engagement programme. “Encourage and incentives schools to make children play football on regular basis.”
Speaking on the occasion Shri Vijay Goel said, over the past year, his Ministry has made many bold strides towards developing a sporting culture in the country. He said, Projects like Khelo India are helping towards developing sport at the ground level while our TOPS scheme and Olympic Task forces look to help our elite athletes bring glory to India in the international arena. And with the FIFA U-17 World Cup being held in India in October this year, we are building our infrastructure and showcasing our ability to organize and execute global sporting events.