The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fifa instructor for kid-league structure

Calcutta, Aug. 16: Victor Stanculescu, AFC and Fifa instructor, has completed a two-month study of Indian soccer and said Saturday that though India compares to any Latin American country in talent, skill and speed, the problem of power and endurance remains.

Fortunately, feels Stanculescu, these are qualities that can be trained into a player “because you can’t be trained into skill and talent, those are gifts.” That’s one way how Stanculescu comes to the conclusion that there is the need, in this country, of leagues in the 5-14 years age-group.

He says he has talked with a few principals of schools in this city and in Jamshedpur and in Goa and “they all said ‘let’s do it’, so why not'” He, of course, concedes that his is a technical brief and not a financial one, and it is understandable how he fails to understand why in the quagmire of Indian soccer this is a seed that isn’t going to germinate in a hurry.

The ideas smell fresh: Juniors’ leagues, junior referees to oversee them, training courses for players, referees, coaches, managers, medical units and even for the cynical journos. But the 69-year-old, who is now off to Delhi to meet AIFF president Priya Ranjan Das Munshi (and will then go to Goa to meet secretary Alberto Colaco) has probably not been briefed properly about the country’s needs.

While penning down his Continuing Education Programme, he probably believed that his “positive attitude” theory will rub off some sleeves. Maybe Stanculescu should have dealt with the tricky financial aspects first.

He will give his report to the AIFF and the AFC, “copy of which will go to the Fifa.” He intends to stay on a while, “because there is opportunity here.” Of course, there is!

IFA secretary Subrata Dutta said he would like to see Stanculescu’s plans fructify, but “at this point we will have to keep in mind our financial constraints.”

Derby on Sept. 4

The next East Bengal-Mohun Bagan match of the IFA Super Division League will be played under lights at the Salt Lake Stadium on September 4. This was announced by Dutta here Saturday. East Bengal had blanked Mohun Bagan 3-0 in the first-leg match.

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