Asian football chief Mohamed Bin Hammam slammed India's almost stagnant development in the sport, saying the country had not realised its vast potential.
"You have the population, the economy, the talent needed to become a successful footballing nation, but unfortunately I have not seen much happening. In football, all the stakeholders need to perform. I think the main barrier preventing football development in India is the lack of infrastructure. The sport received little support in the country”.
"The AIFF (All India Football Federation) is only one element in a vast network of stakeholders," he said. "You have the central government, the state governments, sponsors, fans, media and so many more stakeholders."
India, currently ranked a lowly 138th in the world, have never played in the World Cup and their last Olympic appearance was 50 years ago, despite finishing fourth in the 1956 Melbourne Games.
AIFF president Praful Patel told the FIFA.com website last week that the national federation had begun work to improve football infrastructure in the country. Patel added the AIFF was trying to develop football at the grassroots level to make it more popular.
"We know our infrastructures are too weak and we have now set ourselves specific objectives," he said.
Do India need the help of established football associations to grow the game ?