The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has announced its own National Grassroots Football Day, which will be held on 23 June—the anniversary of the birth of Indian football legend PK Banerjee in 1936—in an effort to support the grassroots structure as proposed in the Vision 2047 Strategic Plan.
In 2023, the current celebration will mark the 10-year anniversary of the occasion. Grassroots football is described by the AFC as “all football that is non-professional and non-elite,” with examples including youth or school football, amateur football, football for players with disabilities, and even football for veterans. In a nutshell, it is football played by the general public at a level where involvement and a passion for the game are essential.
Grassroots football forms the backbone of the football pyramid, shaping the future of the sport, fostering community spirit, and promoting physical and mental well-being. Its significance extends far beyond the field, impacting individuals, communities, and society as a whole.
With the imminent launch of AIFF’s flagship grassroots project, the Blue Cubs Programme, the focus going forward is to provide a comprehensive and impactful platform for young footballers at the grassroots level. The programme aims to revolutionise grassroots football development by emphasising key aspects such as skill development, talent identification, coach education, and a structured pathway for both regular and elite players at various stages of their development.
A robust grassroots structure plays a vital role in strengthening the foundation, the broader base of the football pyramid, that will yield taking football to every corner of India and foster seeding a football culture, resulting in multidimensional impacts on various aspects of football in India.