The All India Football Federation (AIFF), on Wednesday launched KICK OFF -- an innovative talent identification and development programme in Goa.
This programme, backed by Airtel, has been designed using the expertise of Manchester United Soccer Schools' (MUSS) world famous coaching programmes.
"It's clear to see that with such a huge population in India the potential for football to grow is enormous, and we are delighted to be involved in the further development of the game here. Hopefully we can play a part in the vision of accelerating this development of young players in India, and helping youngsters to achieve their own potential through playing sport," Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United football club said in a statement.
AIFF General Secretary Alberto Colaco said the scheme would speed up the growth of Indian football at international level.
"We have a bold vision for the future of football in India and this exciting scheme will only help to accelerate our progress on the world stage. We are also delighted to welcome MUSS to India," Colaco said.
For this purpose, a coordination committee has been formed which will be headed by the Director of Sports, Goa, Susana D'Sousa and will have Executive Director, SAI, Goa, V. M. Prabhu Desai and Goa Football Association Secretary Savio Messias as the members.
As part of a combined initiative, KICK OFF will provide opportunity for young players to undertake a series of skill tests from October 27 to November 2.
A coaching team from MUSS will supervise the programme, assisted by Brian McClair, Head of Manchester United's Youth Academy.