Along with the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and the All India Football Federation (AIFF), we hosted the second edition of FICCI Goal last week in Delhi. FICCI Goal is the largest conference hosted in the country specifically discussing the business of Indian football.
I was pleased with how the event turned out as we had the right mix of Indian football property owners, top AIFF administrative and technical staff and foreign delegates to ensure quality conversation. Not surprisingly, the topic of most interest to everyone was India's preparation for the U-17 FIFA World Cup which will be hosted in India in 2017. Rob Baan (AIFF Technical Director), Wim Koovermans (Indian National Team Head Coach) and Baichung Bhutia (Former Indian National Team Captain) answered all the delegates questions during a rousing 1.5 hour panel discussion.
I moderated a session dear to my heart entitled, "Academies & Soccer Schools - Benefits, Challenges & Opportunities." On this session I had Rajesh Jain (Director FCBEscola India), Shirsih Kulkarni (President, LIFA DSK Shivajians), Sanjeev Paul (MD, TATA Metalliks & Tata FA), Vivek Sethia (MD, Arsenal Soccer Schools India) and Neeraj Kansal (Secretary, Sports Authority of India). It was a healthy conversation which left everyone in the room with a better understanding of what it takes to to establish an Academy or Soccer Schools program and what needs to transform externally to ensure they sustain themselves.
Day 2 was unique as we focused mainly on Social Responsibility through Football and Grassroots Football in India. The Asian Football Confederation recently launched an initiative called One Goal Asia and they brought a team of nutrition experts from Asia in to Delhi for the conference to discuss their plans to launch One Goal India over the next few months.
All in all, FICCI Goal was a success and I'm confident that we will one day achieve our "goal" of making this the largest football conference in Asia.