Wenger commits himself to “digging out” football talent in India

FIFA has already recommended Spain’s Sergi Amezcua Fontrodona — who was previously involved with developing football in China as project director — to be the academy head coach for two years and an Indian will assist him for a few months.

A foreign assistant coach will be appointed in four-five months.

“With such a huge population, the potential in India is huge, for you to be on top of the world. That is what we want to achieve together. How long will it take, I don’t know,” Wenger said.

“But one thing is for sure, if we don’t educate, we will be where we are at the moment. With the quality of education, you get great players. Our target is to develop top level players here and get India on the map among the best countries in the world,” said the celebrated coach.

He emphasised the necessity of catching players young if the country wants to reach the top level.

“No country has more right over another country to be on the top of world. It’s just down to educating your children (in football).

“India is a country which has invested a lot in education. It is a job you have to learn like any other job. And unfortunately, it starts at a very young age, you cannot start playing football at 15 years of age, you have to start at 5 or 6 years of age.” Wenger made a round of inspection of the academy, which is up for running with top-class facilities. It was initially planned as an Odisha state football academy.

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