Indian football roadmap: Ex-Premier League secretary set to meet stakeholders
Former Premier League general secretary Nic Coward is part of the AFC-FIFA delegation on a fact-finding trip to help prepare a roadmap for Indian footballfootball Updated: Sep 04, 2017 20:44 IST
Work on the plan to see how soon two national leagues in India can be stopped will start on Tuesday when a two-member team representing football’s world body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) begins meeting different stakeholders.
While Alex Phillips is here because he has been deputed to the AFC from UEFA, which governs football in Europe, Nic Coward is a consultant for FIFA.
Coward is a lawyer who was the general secretary of the Premier League from 2010 to 2015. He has also been associated with British horse racing and was an advisor to this season’s kabaddi league which has became bigger and longer. Coward also helped roll out the plan to help Premiership clubs develop more homegrown players.
Based on feedback from different stakeholders in football in India, the AFC and FIFA will put together a plan for the football season in India. The plan is expected to be given to the AIFF by November. This is as per the meeting with stakeholders at the AFC’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur last June.
For 2017-18, there will be two leagues, the ISL and the I-League, running simultaneously, but going forward, consensus is to have one competition.
The meetings will start in New Delhi with officials from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) followed by representatives of Bengaluru FC, an AIFF official said.
And though representatives from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) were part of the delegation that visited Kuala Lumpur to meet Phillips and AFC general-secretary Windsor Paul John last June, no meeting has been scheduled with any government representative this time.
As reported by Hindustan Times on July 13, the delegation has sought separate meetings with clubs, state associations, the AIFF and its commercial partners.
For instance, a meeting with an Indian Super League (ISL) franchise has been scheduled in Mumbai on September 11. Along with representatives of the AIFF, the delegation will also travel to different parts of India till September 15. However, barring Atletico de Kolkata and Delhi Dynamos, they will meet most ISL teams in Mumbai.