BCCI has assured help in future also: AIFF chief


"BCCI has committed financial help in future also. They will see how we utilise this money and will surely help us in the future," Patel told AFC official website about the USD 5 million grant sanctioned by the Cricket Board for national football team's preparations for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.
"Apart from the preparation of teams for 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Doha and Asian Games in Guangzhou, we need to earmark this money for the grassroots development," added the 52-year-old, who is also the Union Civil Aviation Minister.
Patel said a good performance by the national team in the 2011 Asian Cup in Doha will help generate more interest for the sport among the people.
"We want our national team to do well in Doha because the interest in the game will develop only when the national team does well," he said.
He said that his vision was to make football India's number one sport by 2020 and to achieve the target, some infrastructural challenges will have to be overcome.
"We have to make some structural changes in our system, including leagues in all the states and organising better tournaments. We will do this in phased manner. Infrastructure is the biggest challenge for us but we plan to overcome this in next three years," Patel said.

Regarding a possible club-versus-country row following Indian coach Bob Houghton's plan of keeping the players together before the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, Patel said, "Houghton is right in saying the interest of national team should come first."
"We will compensate the players and see to it that they don't suffer financially by playing for the country. The future of Indian football depends on the results of the national team," he said.

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