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AIFF may tap Zico for tips

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September 06, 2004 16:03 IST

The Indian football authorities are hoping to persuade Japan coach Zico to pass on some tips for the development of youth soccer in the country.

The All-India Football Federation (AIFF) wants to involve the former Brazilian superstar in its programme to groom young talent under its much-talked about Youth Development Programme.

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The programme was initiated after the AIFF apparently realised that the talent pool for Indian soccer was drying up.

"With no good players coming up and the talent pool drying up, what is the future of India soccer," a worried AIFF official wondered while speaking to

The Youth Development Programme that receives support from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is expected to stem the rot. But, little has been achieved so far.

With Zico in Kolkata for a couple of days, Indian football honchos are hoping, however unrealistically, that they could persuade him to pass on some free advice for the Youth Development Programme.

"Zico would give us valuable advice on how to groom young talent," an optimistic Prasun Banerjee, a national selector, said.

The Japanese team arrives in Kolkata on Tuesday to play their World Cup qualifier against India on Wednesday.

M Chhaya in Kolkata