Bhubaneswar: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is set to fulfill its longstanding goal of establishing a world-class football academy in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, on November 21. The AIFF-FIFA academy, launched under the FIFA Talent Development Scheme, will be inaugurated by Arsene Wenger, FIFA Chief of Global Football Development.
During his visit from November 19 to 23, Wenger and his team will engage with ISL, I-League clubs, and youth development stakeholders in Indian football. AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey expressed confidence in leveraging Wenger’s expertise to create a top-notch facility and thanked FIFA President Gianni Infantino for the initiative.
AIFF Acting Secretary General Satyanarayan M sees the academy’s launch as a significant step toward the long-term vision of youth investment, particularly focusing on talents below the age of 14. Plans are underway to replicate similar initiatives across different regions of the country to ensure comprehensive talent development.
R Vineel Krishna, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Sports and Youth Service Department, Government of Odisha, highlighted the excitement about Bhubaneswar being chosen for the FIFA Talent Academy. The Odisha government, under Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s direction, is committed to providing full support for football development in India, collaborating closely with the AIFF to create optimal facilities.
FIFA has recommended Sergi Amezcua Fontrodona, a FIFA-trained coach with experience in developing football in China, as the head coach for the FIFA-AIFF academy. Amezcua, a FIFA TDS Coach since August 2023, previously served as the Project Director at the Barca Academy Pro Haikou. The academy’s launch marks an exciting milestone for Indian football, aligning with broader efforts to elevate the sport’s stature in the country.