The Asian Football Confederation at a meeting of the Vision Asia Committee at the AFC Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday decided about the future of the Vision Asia programme across the continent. The AFC decided to launch 16 new projects in five countries while dropping non-performing projects in several countries sadly amongst them are Delhi and Tamil Nadu.
AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam said Vision Asia could not operate in isolation and needed proactive support from the stakeholders. "Vision Asia cannot work independently and needs to have commitments from MAs and city or provincial FAs for its success. If the MAs are not willing to change their statutes and meet the demands of modern football, we have no option but to drop these projects."
For Delhi it was a long time coming, but now it is official that Vision Delhi is at least for the moment history. For the AFC is doesn't mean much except closing down a chapter of a continent wide development program, while for Delhi football it means embarrassment and losing the chance to get help in developing football in the capital.
The Delhi Soccer Association blamed it mainly on the fact that the association wasn't able to amend its constitution to bring it in line with the AFC guidelines, but the real fact is the inaction of the association wanting to change for good.
The southern Indian state being part of the programme surprised many initially, but it was clear from the onset that former Tamil Nadu FA president and AIFF Executive Committee member C.R. Viswanathan was able to get the programme for his home state. But the TNFA wasn't able to use the chance that it was given and it was now simply scrapped.
The Vision Asia programme was originally launched with the Asian continent split into six zones with China and India being own zones due to their sheer size. Vision India was launched in 2004 with the launch states being Delhi and Manipur. While Manipur calmly and quietly has been doing its work to fulfil its part to be one of the best Vision Asia projects, Delhi's never really got of the ground.
While Delhi's failure has often been highlighted, the success in Manipur hasn't made big headline news. The small Northeastern state has now successfully been running a 12 team state league on a home-&-away format even in difficult political conditions in the state. The All Manipur FA runs leagues in cities & districts, for juniors and women.
A couple of years ago Kerala and Tamil Nadu were added to the programme, while Goa was added last year and West Bengal is the next state waiting to join the programme.