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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 110

FIFA’s cure for Indian football ills

By Ramu Sharma - Syndicate Features

The International Football Federation (FIFA) has offered solutions to the problems faced by clubs in India after its team of observers had visited and interacted with some clubs in Mumbai and Calcutta. The report by the panel of observers from Fifa covered considerable ground but one wonders whether any of the suggestions could be given a practical shape in this country

The failings and the reasons thereof have been known to the federation and the clubs for years altogether. In fact they are so obvious. The Fifa observers report is only a confirmation of the existing maladies afflicting Indian club football and therein the entire soccer scene. The solutions offered too are nothing new. The AIFF and the football fraternity are aware of both the problems and the possible solutions. The difficulty lies in implementation.

Take for instances the problems mentioned. They included non- availability of grounds, poor conditions, sub-standard accommodation and food and above all bad organization. These are problems which are being faced for several years by now; there is no way things can improve until and unless the State steps in with money and space. One hoped that the organizational aspect of the various tournaments would have improved over the years but unfortunately it has not happened, at least not at the scale expected.

The solutions laid out in the FIFA report include among other things, induction of influential people in the organization; seek relief from Civil courts whenever sporting facilities are utilized for non-sporting events and collecting a dedicated group of trained young volunteers.

All of these sound great but who in this country is going to tell the political parties to stop using sports grounds for their rallies and particularly so when the guilty party is the one in power? There is the recent example of the newly sworn in Punjab Government taking over the Cricket Stadium in Mohali for political purposes. Though the Chief Minister has promised to make good the damages why should he and his party use Mohali stadium in the first place? Delhi’s only football ground, the Delhi Gate stadium too, is often used for purposes other than the game. Who is to stop it? Certainly, not the All India Football Federation or the local body. They have absolutely no say.

And as for having important influential persons on the organization, who can be more important than a minister in the central government? Maybe the President of the All India Football Federation, Mr. Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, and Minister in the Manmohan Singh Government can answer this question?

No one questions the sincerity of the FIFA observers but surely they were not in the know of how things are run in this country. And interestingly the observers have covered so much ground, on football fields, organization personalities, accommodation and food but they have no word to say on how to improve the standard of the game.

- Syndicate Features -

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