India’s hunt for a Brazilian soccer coach still on

April 15th, 2008 - 12:40 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil
By Liz Mathew
Rio de Janeiro, April 15 (IANS) India will soon send a cricket coach to Brazil, but its attempts to find a football coach from here to train its players have not found any results yet. While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has agreed to send a coach to train youngsters in the soccer-crazy country to take to the bat and ball, the hunt for a good trainer for Indian footballers is still continuing.

“BCCI will soon be sending a coach as Brazil wants the status of a cricket test playing nation,” said Indian Ambassador to Brazil Hardeep Singh Puri.

President Pratibha Patil, who is on a visit to Brazil, and the Indian delegation accompanying her reached here from Sao Paulo Tuesday.

Brazil became a member of the International Cricket Council in 2002.

Indian officials are optimistic about getting a football coach. “Football in this part of the world is highly professional and coaches charge a large amount. But something is being worked out shortly,” Puri said.

During his visit to Brazil in 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had taken up the issue of getting a football coach from Brazil with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

India had signed a cultural agreement in 2006 with Brazil under which the two countries would cooperate in promoting exchanges in football and training of Indian players and coaches.

While Brazil is known as the land of football, India ranks 130th in the list put out by the world soccer body FIFA and the sport is in the doldrums in both standards and patronage. Information and Broadcasting Minister P.R. Dasmunsi, president of All India Football Federation, has been seeking coaches for Indian footballers from Brazil.

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