A fillip it is.
Champions League winners Manchester United will provide technical assistance to the proposed Bharti-All India Football Federation (AIFF) academy in Goa.
“They (Manchester United) have assured us that they will be providing technical support,” said an AIFF official, after the first executive committee meeting since the elections in December, on Wednesday.
United's association with the academy may have been confirmed, but the details remain to be worked out. “The finer details have not been discussed yet but it will be done soon,” he said.
The dispute over the land in Cuncolim, where the state-of-the-art academy will be built, “still remains but our president has assured that things would be sorted out very soon and work would start next month.”
The meeting, chaired by acting vice-president Praful Patel, also decided to form a security committee to look after all AIFF-organised tournaments, domestic and international.
The decision comes in the wake of the chaos that reigned during the Federation Cup final in Kolkata.
Mohun Bagan supporters had gone on the rampage in the Salt Lake Stadium following the loss to Dempo and a fan had died after a fall from the stands. A final decision on this will be taken in end-February.
It was also decided that the Nehru Cup will be held in August and Delhi, like in 2007, will most probably play host.
“Delhi has a good chance but nothing has been finalised yet,” another official said.
The SAF Cup will be staged at Goa in December while the IFA shield and Durand Cup will be held in September and December respectively.
The future of general secretary Alberto Colaco, who got an extension at the AGM in December, remained uncertain.
The executive committee also decided to host matches of the second division I-League in the last week of February and the teams have also been approved.
The first round will be held in Assam, Gurgaon and Kerala.