AIFF launches Project World Cup
AIFF chief Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi is confident of the country making it to the big stage in 2010 if the programme yields the desired results.india Updated: Jun 11, 2006 13:37 IST
Dreaming big, the All India Football Federation has launched a 'Project World Cup' which aims at taking the national football team to the next edition of the tournament in South Africa in 2010.
AIFF President Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi is confident of the country making it to the big stage in 2010 if the programme yields the desired results.
"South Africa will be hosting the 2010 edition of the tournament and if this project yields the result, India would be sharing the dais with soccer giants in the FIFA World Cup," he said at a function on Saturday evening to felicitate former international footballers.
But perhaps aware that the mission was a trifle too ambitious, he added: "If we fail to do it by 2010, we will try for the next edition of the tournament (in 2014)."
Olympian and former Indian captain Chuni Goswami, who was among those who were felicitated, said he was banking on India's new coach Bob Houghton to deliver the goods.
"We had our days of glory in the past but somehow we could not make it to the World Cup. Now with a new British coach for the national team, I hope we would finally make it in 2010," Goswami said.
Apart from Goswami, present and past stars like Sailen Manna, Syed Nayeemuddin, Inder Singh, Mohd Habib, Prasun Bannerjee, Jo Paul Ancheri and Baichung Bhutia were present at the function, which coincided with the kick-off of the World Cup soccer in Germany.