New Delhi: Issues ranging from club licensing to youth development and stadia safety were discussed at the I-League Workshop, conducted by the All India Football Federation, here on Friday.
The workshop was attended by 48 representatives from all the I-League clubs.
The seven-hour workshop also included topics like Referee Matters and Laws of the Game, Pre-match day and Match Day Media Operations and Kit Regulations.
Apart from the club representatives, a five-man Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Special Mission Team (SMT) led by AFC Research and Support Services Head, Steve Kim threw light on Match Operations and Competitions and Youth Development.
"It's encouraging to see such a great participation. I thank AFC for their support and helping us understand Club Licensing," AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said.
"It's important that in spite of the pertinent challenges, we should never divert from our focus. The Clubs need to come forward and work together with us in creating a better product. The value of the I-League should go up and we should work for the cause in unison," he added.
Mahajan Vasudevan, Head of Club Licensing & Legal Affairs, AFC, enlightened the clubs on club licensing, which is being implemented for the first time from the upcoming 2013-14 season.
AIFF's Head of Referees Col. Goutam Kar's opening session on the 'Laws of the Game' turned out to be very interactive.
"Referee is a part of the Football Family but we often tend to forget that. A Referee works in an inversely proportional manner. While his oxygen levels are going down, he still has to keep his composure and follow the chain of -See-Recognise-Interpret-Judge-Award - while giving a decision. All this is done at one go and in a split second," Kar maintained.
Kar's session was followed by Ben, Head of Club Competitions, AFC. Analysing Match-day Operations with AFC Champions League Video clips stayed the mainstay of his lecture.
"I am sure that soon, stadia in India will match international standards," Ben said.
Post lunch, the first session was on Youth Development. Jose Marcelino Zalazar Carpio, a former Goalkeeper, said: "The best way to predict the future is by helping to create it. Youth Development is the most essential part of football. A club with a strong Youth Development Programme can earn revenue by attracting other clubs to invest on their products."
Ranjan Chowdhury Head of Youth Development, Pune FC was all praise about the initiative.
"Club Licensing Criteria is a boon for Indian Football. Youth Development is the only way to progress and we have a lot of talent in India. We just need to tap them. Now with youth teams made mandatory, every club will have focus on it."
All the participants were handed over certificates at the end of the workshop.