Scott O'Donnell blames India's lack of match practice

Aug 18, 2012, 08:29 IST | Sundari Iyer

The Technical Director of All India Football Federation's (AIFF) academies, Scott O'Donnell yesterday blamed lack of match practice as the prime reason for India's falling standards.

O’Donnell is in the city to conduct the AIFF ‘D’ License course for coaches at the Cooperage Ground, which will help players get professional assistance at the local level.

 Scott O'Donnell
Australian Scott O’Donnell at the Cooperage yesterday

“From what I have seen, in India, players do not get to play enough matches. They may be playing 15-16 games a year whereas in Australia, it’s 40 and in Europe, it’s 50 or 60. The leagues also go on for eight months there,” he said.

O’Donnell was also critical about the work ethics of the aspiring footballers here.

“U-13s and U-14s don’t get too many matches either. It may be one, two or three weeks, which is very less. You got to play all the time,” said O’Donnell, the former coach of Cambodia.

On how India can improve their current FIFA raking of 168, the Australian said they need a couple of good wins against higher-ranked teams.

“Look at the FIFA rankings, it’s self explanatory. If you win a couple of matches against higher-ranked teams, your ranking will improve. However, there is lot of work to be done and at the grassroot level,” added the 45-year-old. 

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