Speaking on the occasion Mr Valcke said: “It’s really pleasing to see our Endeavour taking shape in India. The Developmental Office being located here reflects our intention to develop football from the grassroots in this country. Development Offices are an integral part of FIFA as it builds the grassroots.”
The 51-year old Frenchman emphasised on India’s bid to host the U-17 World Cup as well as qualifying for the FIFA 2022 World Cup.
“I sincerely hope that India qualify for the 2022 World Cup. The Developmental Office will have to play a big role in that. Their bid to host the U-17 World Cup is also being taken seriously and I hope they succeed there as well. We will help as much as possible,” Valcke maintained.
AFC General Secretary Alex Soosay, who was also present, said: “It is an honour to be a part of this inauguration of the FIFA Developmental Office. We have the perfect atmosphere here — that of football. It’s also very close to Football House, the All India Football Headquarters.
Thierry Regenass, Director Member Associations and Development Vision, FIFA reflected on how the plan for the Developmental Office in New Delhi was laid. “We have completed a circle. We started 15 months ago and now the results are in front of us. We had planned to open a Developmental Office in India and I am extremely happy with the steadfast progress it has made so far.”
Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran, the FIFA Regional Development Officer (RDO) for South and Central Asia said it’s a “big challenge.”
“It’s a very special day for us. We need to do justice with our Endeavour. We plan to move ahead with FIFA’s support and this day marks the beginning of a new chapter,” he maintained.
Manila Fernando, the former RDO added: “I wish Shaji and his team all the very best. My support is with all the Developmental Programmes and endeavours taken in the future.”