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SAI boss questions coaches commitment
New Delhi (PTI): Sports Authority of India (SAI) Director General Jiji Thomson on Thursday criticised the national coaches for their lack of...
New Delhi (PTI): Sports Authority of India (SAI) Director General Jiji Thomson on Thursday criticised the national coaches for their lack of commitment while raising doubts on the country's ability to field a competitive team if it wins the bid for hosting the 2017 Under-17 football World Cup. "The government coaches after a while forget their commitment. Say for example a canoeing and a kayaking coach asks for transfer in Patiala where there is no kayaking. A boxing coach will ask for a transfer in Kerala where there is no boxing," Thomson said. "UK produces 35,000 coaches a year and 80 per cent of them are voluntary, working without salary. Whereas SAI produces 300 coaches a year and 300 posts are left vacant. Next month we will recruit another 200 coaches," he added. Talking about the U-17 World Cup, he said, "In four years' time we are probably going to host the youth football World Cup and as a host, it is imperative that we have a good team. But I doubt if we would be able to produce a team that would be upto the standards. And SAI is concerned." Keeping in mind the soccer tournament, Thomson said he had suggested the idea of launching 'futsal' in India. "I had a meeting with AIFF president Praful Patel and he has directed his secretary Kushal Das to meet me tomorrow. I had suggested that let us introduce futsal in all schools across India so that we can produce a good team in the next two years. Neymar is a product of futsal." Futsal is an indoor five-a-side tournament played on a smaller pitch. "We require coaches, FIFA gives us balls and net. AIFF along with SAI should introduce this (futsal) all over the country and especially in football states like Bengal, Goa, Kerala and Punjab." Thomson was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Sports Mentor's national level school championship to unearth talent. Sports Mentor is an an organisation providing scientific Sports Education programme for school children in India. Talking on similar lines, he said, "The phrase 'catch them young' has been forgotten in this country. We are launching a programme for long-term development, set up sports academies."