New Delhi:The All India Football Federation top brass on Thursday lauded Cricket Board's "elder-brotherly concern" while granting Rs 25 crore for soccer's development in the country and also thanked AIFF chief Praful Patel for his role in bringing the huge financial assistance.
The cash-rich BCCI granted Rs 25 crore for development of football in the country, to be given in two years, after Patel had personally requested his Nationalist Congress Party leader and former BCCI chief Sharad Pawar to partially fund AIFF's ambitious '2011 Goal Project'.
While congratulating Patel for his commendable job in getting the grant, AIFF senior vice-president Subrata Dutta praised BCCI for its magnanimity.
"It is really a great gesture by BCCI, proving that they also care for the development of Indian football. I would like to thank their elder-brotherly attitude. They are thinking positive for other sports of the country, including football," Dutta said from Kolkata.
"Credit goes to Praful Patel and it is a wonderful job done by him. This would not have been possible without his effort," Dutta said.
"It is high time that all those concerned with football should work together under his (Patel's) leadership to take Indian football forward. I am sure under him Indian football will rise to the pristine glory of the past."
Another AIFF vice-president Ankur Dutta also praised BCCI for the financial assistance and said it would help in the development of football in the country.
"It is a nice gesture from the Cricket Board to help other sports in the country, including football. I hope this will help in the development of football in the country," he said from Guwahati.
India qualified for the 2011 Asian Cup, to be held in Doha, after a gap of 24 years when they won the AFC Challenge Cup last year.
The AIFF at first had planned the ambitious '2011 Goal Project' with an aim to do well in the Asian Cup with an estimated cost of Rs 40 crore.
Under that plan, around 25 players would be trained from June this year till January 2011 in the national camp without playing in any domestic tournaments for their clubs.
They would have to play only international friendlies and tournaments and the AIFF would give the salary of the players which they would have got from their clubs.
But due to lack of money, the duration of the project was shortened and this will start from June next year and not from this June.