Union sports minister Kiren Rijijuu, in an interview to All India Football Federation (AIFF), declared that the Ministry of Sports “will provide extra financial help wherever it’s possible” to help Indian Football propel to the next level.

Talking on the sidelines of the Intercontinental Cup match between India and DPR Korea on July 14, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) Youth Affairs & Sports said, “We have seen certain improvements in our men’s as well as women’s football in recent times. From the sports ministry, we will provide extra financial help wherever it’s possible to scout, and nurture young talents as well as for the professional training, and other events.”

The 47-year-old minister also expressed his affinity to the game and stressed on the importance of better training and coaching facilities for the upliftment of India football at the grassroots level. He also affirmed that his ministry will provide assistance on that regard, “The ministry of sports will provide whatever is required for better training, coaching, facilities, and other demands and requirements whichever will be placed by the AIFF. We’ll always be there. I’m very enthusiastic about supporting any kind of sport in India, and football is very special for me.”

Talking about the women’s football, the sports minister praised the Indian team for its recent leap in the FIFA rankings, which were released on July 12. “I must compliment the women’s team for rising to 57 in the FIFA rankings recently. That’s a huge jump. I’m very confident that the standard of the women’s team will rise further,” said Rijiju who is also the Minister of State for Minority Affairs.

He further added into his interview, “Football is the biggest game in terms of popularity, reach, size. We also have to put a lot of effort to improve our football. Be it a village or a city, football is a game which can be played anywhere. I’m very hopeful that the standard of Indian football will rise in the years to come.”