Mumbai: The four regional residential football academies to be set up by the All India Football Federation, in association with world body FIFA in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata would start functioning from March next year.
AIFF secretary Kushal Das said that Mumbai was one of the centers shortlisted by the national football body with the other three centers for the first phase being Delhi NCR, Kolkata and Bangalore, where the AIFF's Goal Project is already in place.
"These residential academies are scheduled to begin by March 31, 2012, in time for commencement of the new schools season of 2012," Das said in a media release issued by Western India Football Association (WIFA), the governing body for the game in Maharashtra.
"The state has massive potential in football development and the academy will help us create football icons. Our efforts have been recognised by FIFA and AIFF and all of us are working towards achieving the same," said WIFA CEO Henry Menezes.
Menezes pointed out that WIFA has received a USD two million grant for the reconstruction of the Cooperage stadium where an artificial turf is also being laid.
The FIFA-AIFF residential academy aims to target children below 14 who would be given quality education along with football knowledge by coaches appointed directly by FIFA, WIFA said.
The Mumbai academy would be looked after by WIFA who are scouting for a suitable location to set up the academy, the release added.