Blatter promises help for Indian football

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> FIFA president Joseph S Blatter has promised to take a personal initiative in bettering the standards of Indian football.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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FIFA president Joseph S Blatter has promised to take a personal initiative in improving the standards of Indian football. Blatter's assertion came during the maiden meeting of the first ever World Club Football Task Force set up by the apex body, according to information reaching here. Plea to help Indian soccer Mohun Bagan president Swapan Sadhan Bose, a member of the Task Force, called upon the European representatives to help Indian soccer by providing technical support and imparting proper marketing skills. "This will enable the football academies and institutions to raise proper funds for grooming talents and creating a bigger pool of players to catch up with international standards," he said in the meeting held at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich on Friday night. Bose and Japan's Jubilo Iwata Club president Takanori Matsuzaki are the only Asian representatives in the 11-member committee formed in October in line with a decision taken by FIFA in Paris in May. Task force formed The Task Force, chaired by Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder, includes soccer luminary Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the CEO of German outfit Bayern Munich. Other clubs in the committee are FC Barcelona of Spain, England's Ipswich Town, Argentina's River Plate, Palmeiras de Sao Paolo of Brazil, New England Revolution of USA, Etoile Sportive du Sahel of Tunisia, Cote d-Ivoire's ASEC Mimosas and Perth Glory Club (Australia). In his opening address, Blatter stressed that the Task Force was not an official standing committee of the FIFA, but an ad-hoc forum for discussion with an advisory function. "FIFA does not want to organise club football in the Confederations, but today's game faces numerous conflicts and problematic issues, such as the international match calendar that can only be overcome through direct dialogue and united efforts," he said. (PTI)