The All India Football Federation’s Technical Committee meeting was chaired by former India captain Mr. IM Vijayan as the committee met in Navi Mumbai ahead of the FIFA U-17 World Cup final, on Sunday, October 30, 2022.
AIFF President Mr. Kalyan Chaubey, Secretary General Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran, and Deputy Secretary General Mr. Sunando Dhar were also present in the meeting. Deputy Chairman Mr. Manoranjan Bhattacharya, along with Mr. Climax Lawrence, Mr. Arun Malhotra, Mr. Harjinder Singh, and Ms. Pinki Bompal Magar were the committee members present on the occasion. Special leave of absence was granted to committee member Mr. Eugeneson Lyngdoh. League Committee Chairman Mr. Lalnghinglova Hmar was present as a special invitee.
It its first order of the day, the Technical Committee recommended former India captains Oinam Bembem Devi and Harjinder Singh (senior) to be appointed as the chief of scouts in women’s and men’s football, respectively.
The Committee recommended that former Blue Tigers defender Mahesh Gawali take over as the Head Coach of the India U-20 Men’s National Team in place of Shanmugam Venkatesh, who had earlier tendered his resignation, which was duly accepted. Gawali, at the same time, will also continue as the Assistant Coach of the Senior Men’s National Team under Igor Stimac.
The Committee also discussed the post of the Technical Director, for which, three candidates have been shortlisted – Vivek Nagul, Hilal Rasool, and Santosh Kashyap. The Committee will interview all the three and submit its recommendations to the Executive Committee by November 15, 2022.
Discussions on the Elite Youth League were also held at the meeting, and the Committee recommended for it to be held in December across multiple venues. States that have already completed their youth leagues can nominate two teams, while others can nominate clubs from the Hero ISL, Hero I-League and other residential academies. Players born between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008 will be eligible for the league.
The India U-17 Men’s National Team, which qualified for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023, earlier this year, is set to get more exposure in their bid to prepare for the continental stage, it was recommended. The Committee suggested to send them for more exposure matches with higher ranked countries like Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc.