indian football
Some of the notable Indian football coachesMedia release

Football coaches in India can now only grow and get better as finally a new body, the Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC) was launched at the Mumbai Football Arena, Andheri Sports Complex, in Mumbai on Wednesday. The AIFC which will help AFC Licensed coaches in India has the recognition of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

The association is supported by SportingLions Foundation, a Not for Profit Company, wholly owned by Lions Club of Bombay Willingdon Crescent Charity trust.

Dinesh Nair, ACF A License coach and Head of the Youth and Grassroots development of ISL outfit, Mumbai City FC, made this announcement during a press conference. "We have formed this association which would help the coaches and we will be working with the support of AIFF," mentioned Nair, who is one of the five directors of AIFC.

The other directors include, Derrick Pereira, AFC Pro License and accomplished Indian football coach now working with FC Goa; Thangboi Singto, AFC Pro License, Assistant Coach & Technical Director, Kerala Blasters FC; Sanjoy Sen, AFC A License, coach of Mohun Bagan AC; I.M. Vijayan, AFC B License, National Observer for Football (Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs, Government of India).

"The AIFC is not a union for the coaches, but we will help the coaches to be better equipped to train and nurture talent through regular seminars, workshops and courses," he explained.

Also present at the launch was AIFFs COO Kishor Taid, Savio Medeira, AIFF Technical Director (Acting) & Head of Coach Education and Lion Sudharsanan Nair of SpotingLions Foundation.

"It's important for everyone to come and work together as we want to develop many more coaches. Our aim was to develop 6,500 coaches from the 2014 level of 1,200. Now in the next five years we want to make it 65,000 coaches as football is growing rapidly in India," stated Taid.

Medeira was very supportive of the new coaches' association. "This is a great initiative and I wish to thank all those involved for setting up this new body. This idea was always discussed after every License coaching programs, but now it has finally been formed. I wish the new body success for a long and healthy association with all Indian coaches."

The AIFC will provide a platform for recognition to Indian football coaches as we develop into a significant stakeholder in the game and for the welfare of coaches.

The AIFC will work with the AIFF and assist them in conducting AFC coaching license courses, refresher courses and work for coach education which will help in players' development in various leagues and grassroots tournaments.