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AFC Asian Cup qualification should be a regular thing for India: Eugeneson Lyngdoh

Former India midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh feels the country must make it a habit to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup on a regular basis.

Eugeneson Lyngdoh
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Eugeneson Lyngdoh

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PTI

Updated: 2022-09-17T19:10:09+05:30

Former India midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh feels the country must make it a habit to qualify for the Asian Cup on a regular basis, in order to rise in the sport. Eugeneson, now a member of the All India Football Federations' (AIFF) technical committee, believes in following the process.

"The national team has done great in the recent past. Qualifying for back-to-back Asian Cups is very good for Indian football, and we need to take things forward from here," said Eugeneson.

"I think we need to show faith in the coaches and the players who have taken us to the Asian Cup, and help them follow the process that they have set out for themselves. We cannot be looking at short term gains here."

India cleared the qualification hurdle earlier this year to make their successive Asian Cup.

"We should be at a stage where Asian Cup Qualification is a regular thing for India, and for that, our national team needs to play during every international break. "That's the only way the set of players will get better at playing alongside each other, that is how the team chemistry will build up. If we do that, I'm sure we can perform well once we get to the AFC Asian Cup."

The senior men's national team is currently ranked 104 on the FIFA chart. However, Eugeneson is not one to dwell too much on the rankings.

"Rankings are important, but what really matters is how we play. And that will only improve with more matches against quality opponents," said Eugeneson. "The team needs to grow together, and we need to grow together as a footballing nation with them."

The new technical committee, consisting of five former India internationals -- IM Vijayan (chairman), Harjinder Singh, Eugeneson, Climax Lawrence, and Pinky Bompal Magar -- will meet for the first time on Sunday in Kolkata.

Eugeneson feels that the presence of eminent players in the committee will help it make better decisions, aimed at improving the conditions of the current footballers in India.

"Getting the former players involved was a great step. Those who have been players know the ground reality and hardships that footballers have to face, and can make better decisions. They are the ones that can help decide what's best for Indian football," he said.

The FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup is less than a month away, and as the country gears up for the showpiece event, Eugeneson feels that India has great potential to do well in women's football.

"I remember the hype and the impact that the U-17 Men's World Cup had a few years back. I'm sure it will be quite similar in the women's game too. The coverage of the games will drastically increase, and that will also inspire parents, and kids, which is always great for the sport."

"I hope most parents in India get to see that football is not just a game anymore. It is a career, it is an economy unto itself, and kids can prosper in it."

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