Officials at the Asian Football Confederation are looking at ways to stimulate the growth of soccer in India.

Indian officials held meetings in Kuala Lumpur with AFC president Mohamed bin Hammam, who said the country was crucial to the development of the game in Asia.

India, dubbed a "sleeping giant" by Fifa president Sepp Blatter, launched a professional league last month with the aim of reviving football's domestic appeal.

Organisers of the Portuguese league recently signed an agreement with the Indian football federation to provide support for a more professional structure.

"Discussions focused on Vision Asia and the Vision India project, and how other stakeholders from outside Asia involved in Indian football development can contribute towards the future success of football in the world's second most populous country," a spokesman for the AFC said.

India have also bid to host the AFC Challenge Cup competitions in 2008 and 2010.

Source: Agencies