FIFA U-17 World Cup: Ghana coach tells India team to follow ‘Brazilian’ way
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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Ghana coach tells India team to follow ‘Brazilian’ way

Ghana’s coach Paa Kwesi Fabin has said the Indian football team must follow the ‘Brazilian’ way of developing the game as the country makes giant strides in the sport after hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 08, 2017 19:18 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
FIFA U-17 World Cup,India national football team,Football
Ghana football team’s coach Paa Kwesi Fabin has said that the Indian football team was impressive in the game against USA and added that the team has a chance to build a good future in the game after hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup.(PTI)

Indian football was once compared to a ‘sleeping giant’ by the then FIFA president Sepp Blatter. The title was used in order to describe the hidden potential of India as a footballing nation and a lot of people hoped that the national team will soon establish itself as a force in Asia. However, the expectations were never really met and Ghana U-17 coach Paa Kwesi Fabin believes that India should take lessons from Brazil when it comes to identifying and nurturing young talents.

“India need to learn from Brazil if it wants to improve. In Brazil, every district has a football academy and they pay special attention to the upcoming young talents. India is a rich country and if they improve their scouting, India can surely become a big name in the world of football,” Fabin told Hindustan Times.

Ghana were a dominant force of African football in the 1990s as they won two FIFA U-17 World Cup titles, in 1991 and 1995. However, things started going downhill for the Ghanaians at the turn of the century as they failed to reach the knockout stages of the tournament even once after 1999.

It was with the help of powerful football academies that they made a return to the top. In the last two years, they have improved a lot and earlier this year, a lot of these academy graduates contributed in taking them to the 2017 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations final. Fabin cited the example of Ghana’s academies and said that India will also benefit from adapting this system.

“There are a lot of academies which train young talents in Ghana and unless you give them proper training from that age, you will miss out on good footballers. That is something India should keep in mind while planning for the future,” he said.

Ghana are placed in Group A along with India and although the hosts were completely outplayed by USA on the opening day, Paa Kwesi Fabin was quite impressed by how the players performed under pressure and he believes that the current bunch of footballers can become the future of Indian football.

“I think they (India) did very well considering their circumstances. They did not take part in the qualification process and as a result, they missed out on a lot of match practice. Plus, they are the hosts and I was happy to see that they did not let the pressure get to them,” Fabin said.

“I was really impressed by their performance against USA and I believe that if these youngsters are nurtured properly, they can easily become the future of Indian football,” he added.

First Published: Oct 08, 2017 19:17 IST