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Scouting committees to be set up to identify U-12 sports talent: Kiren Rijiju


Kiren Rijiju (File photo)

New Delhi [India], August 3 (ANI): Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju, has said that he will be setting up zonal-level scouting committees to identify U-12 sporting talent from all across the country.
Rijiju was addressing the inaugural session of an e-summit on football organised by Football Delhi.
Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri, who was one of the speakers at the discussion and had his birthday today, hailed the talent scouting plan of the Sports Minister and said that it is the “biggest birthday gift”.
Besides, AIFF President Praful Patel, Shaji Prabhakaran, Football Delhi, and Dato Windsor John, Asian Football Confederation General Secretary were also participants in the discussion.
The Sports Minister said the plan will be implemented in close co-operation with the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
“I plan to form zonal level scouting committees under Sports Authority of India’s, Khelo India Scheme which would cover every part of India to identify talent from U12 and below. This plan would be implemented in close co-operation with AIFF and we must focus on how we can further strengthen Grassroots football by organising Golden leagues across the country,” Rijiju said.
Speaking about making Delhi a vibrant football city, the Sports Minister added, “I will speak with the LG and the Chief Minister of Delhi to discuss how we can improve football infrastructure in Delhi.”
“I feel honoured to share my birthday with Delhi’s Football Day and hearing of the Sports Minister’s plan to identify talent from all over the country is the biggest birthday gift. Clubs in the capital must drive sport. There are no big clubs in Delhi, so it is important for all stakeholders to come together and talk,” Chhetri said.
Speaking about how football as a sport has evolved in India, Praful Patel said, “Indian football has improved a lot over the past decade. However, we can get a lot better. Unless big countries like India and China do well, money for football won’t come. We need to professionalise football more.”
Patel also urged the Sports Minister to help various states across the country to have more playing fields, so that more people can play and culture of sport can be developed. (ANI)

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