FOOTBALL- Indian football stalwarts Bhaichung Bhutia and IM Vijayan believe playing in the world cup is a pipedream for India as the country lack football culture.
India are currently ranked 97 in world rankings.
Bhutia, 41, feels hopes of competing in FIFA world Cup continue to border on absurdity and “I think that will remain so till we have a strong sporting culture, a strong football culture.”
“There is no dearth of talent, the infrastructure is much better now, and youth development schemes are being initiated. But culture is one thing that is still missing.”
Stressing on the point that players need to be identified at young age, Vijayan said, “Scouting has to start early, as early as eight-nine years. Select the ones who show promise and keep them together for long enough. There are no two ways about it - having sound grassroots programmes is a must to revive our fortunes.”