With a population of 1.3 billion people, sometimes it is very confusing why India hasn't tapped into it's football potential yet.
The sheer population of youngsters following football is huge, thus enhancing the potential of talent that can be nurtured on a national stage.
While there is no doubt that there have been positive developments in Indian football in the last decade, there is one area that we as a nation are lacking, and that is, promoting grassroots football and executing it nation-wide.
The AIFF (All India Football Federation) themselves have their own foundation for youngsters to adapt and bloom in the beautiful game, but that alone is not enough. We need more!
In today's time, youngsters have been fully engulfed in European football and it's playing style. They dream of playing for and experiencing European football and there is just ONE institution across India which is helping them achieve their dreams, India Khelo Football.
Everything you need to know regarding India Khelo Football:
India Khelo Football is a non profit organization working towards creating a structured career path for youngsters who want to pursue football professionally.
There are only eight states in India currently where a basic grassroot structure is present, but it is not integrated with professional football.
That is where India Khelo Football comes in!
India Khelo Football is integrating grassroot football development with professional football across India.
The most interesting fact about India Khelo Football (IKF) is that they provide a platform for players by implementing a system which is democratic, unbiased and transparent. It is a system in which only talent prevails.
Keeping in mind that monetary reasons are the biggest challenge that a player faces while looking for a platform to showcase their skills, IKF has removed that barrier by keeping the entry fee per player as low as ₹250 (around 3$).
IKF is the only platform in India that provides a player with ample opportunities under one roof. The scouting of players is done in such a way that they gain international exposure as well as opportunity to be selected for Indian Super League and I-League clubs.
In essence, IKF is bridging the “Opportunity Divide” prevalent in Indian football's current system. With its vision of developing the football potential in India, IKF prides itself in giving shape to the hopes of thousands of young players and their families.
IKF that goes by the motto "Aap Khelo, Mauka Hum Denge!" and they are adhering to it.
To find exciting young Indian football players and to provide them with opportunities to play at world stage
To create a movement, which churns out football players, who will be the next big thing in World Football.
So, what do India Khelo Football have to show for their efforts up till now?
As of now, IKF has achieved the following in their vision:
- Cities covered: 17
- Participants: 3000+
- Participant Clubs: 8 Indian & 4 International Scouts
- Selections: 20+
- Top 7 selected players to go for an International Exposure tour by 2022 year end, with all finances being borne by IKF entirely.