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Pakistan: The world is doing it.

Pakistan, June 27 -- Around the world, talent comes up through schools to youth academies and then to clubs which train them to be professional footballers

On my personal visit to Tehran two years ago, I happened to meet Ali Kafashian, President of Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI), who said, "A country should not dream of a major breakthrough at the global level unless it organises football at the school level. Most of our footballers come from schools because we have a proper structure at the school level."

During my trip, I also saw Iranian school kids doing regular practice [of football] at the Shahid Bahonar Education and Sports Complex in Tehran. This was the case not only with the Sports Complex but with the rest of schools in the city as well. I now know why Iran has improved its football majorly.

India, too, has started organising its football at school level and the same is the case with Sri Lanka whose underage teams are selected through Inter-School Football Championships for the AFC Festivals of Football and they have made it mandatory for the managers of the junior lot to be school teachers

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Publication:The Friday Times (Lahore, Pakistan)
Date:Jun 27, 2010
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