US Soccer Federation to help Indian football


New Delhi: The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) will provide assistance to All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) in areas ranging from technical advice, exchange programmes and expertise in coaching and administrative issues.

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USSF’s chairman Sunil Gulati, who was in the capital for a stop-over to Kuala Lumpur as an observer for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Congress, said Tuesday that India is facing the same issues that the US did 14 years back before hosting the World Cup in 1998.

“Like US, football is not the No.1 sport in India. So India is tackling the same problems that we did before hosting one of the most successful World Cups in 1998,” Gulati told reporters here at the AIFF headquarters.

Gulati, who met AIFF secretary-general Alberto Colaco, said USSF can help India with technical advice, exchange programme of players and coaches, administration and also sending a team for the Nehru Cup.

“We would like to send a team for the Nehru Cup. But this time it won’t be possible because we have a cramped international calendar. Maybe next time we will have a team in the Nehru Cup,” said Gulati.

The 46-year-old, whose roots are in Allahabad and Ludhiana, said that the USSF will also help the Indian women’s team.

“We will have a specific programme for the Indian women’s team. Working with our women’s national team, which has won three Olympic golds and two World Cups, will be a great experience for Indian girls,” said Gulati, who is an Economics professor in the Columbia University.