GANGTOK, February 8, 2013
The State Sports department would be soon writing to Sikkim Football Association (SFA) seeking an undertaking that at least fifty percent of recruits in the AIFF regional football academy proposed in the State are local kids.
The department will be soon writing to the SFA that it must get a written assurance from the AIFF of having at least fifty percent local kids from Sikkim in the regional football academy, said sources.
The department is of the view that the State government is to provide with supporting infrastructure then the local kids must also benefit, sources said.
The AIFF is ready to set up the U-14 regional football academy in Sikkim with the SFA interested in using its Football House here in Gangtok as the base and Paljor Stadium as the training ground.
The residential academy would have 50 kids to be trained by a foreign coach.
However, not much headway has been made between the SFA and State government on the AIFF’s condition that a ground must be provided every morning and afternoon for two hours each where the proposed academy’s kids can train.
A written request from the SFA for the ground availability is pending with the Sports department for almost two months.
As reported earlier, the request is being studied by the department considering that the football pitch in Paljor Stadium is the only durable and most overused ground in the capital.
The ground is used by United Sikkim FC and State Sports Academy and is also required to host football matches regularly.
The department is more open to the idea of having the AIFF regional academy in Namchi where it already has a Sports Hostel. The infrastructure already available in Namchi can be used for the academy, feels the department.
“If there is no alternative and Gangtok has to be the venue for the academy, then there must be at least fifty percent local kids. This much should be given”, said a departmental official.
(Courtesy: Sikkim Express)