Current Senerio of Indian Football is at a Cross roads for very odd and different reasons. Everyone of the top hierarchy have one goal Improve the quality of Indian Football. Yet there has been alot of road blocks hindering that.
Gurprit Singh Sandhu is arguably the only Indian plying his trades abroad and recently created history as well by becoming the first Indian to qualify for the Europa League. Most Indians playing for the National Side play in the Domestic League and with the level of the Domestic League not really a success in terms of quality on the field as well financially.
AIFF have many a significant amount of changes though the entire system which have not really been favourable for alot of clubs which have played in the National League and forced them to shut shop which include the likes Mahindra United, Churchill Brothers, Mohamddam Sporting, JCT etc. Recently goan clubs with so much history have also decided to exit the I-League which surely raised alot of eye brows.
Goan clubs have been the most consistent In terms of number of teams from the state in the I League and National Football League started in 1996. Goan clubs combined have won more titles than all teams from other states put together. This clearly shows the importance of clubs like Dempo, Sporting Club and Salgaocar FC are to the growth of Indian Football.
Indian Super League, Premier Futsal ,I-League are surely attracting alot of interest from all over the world but with no Fixed blueprint in place , Indian Football is surely running on Trial and Error and even Top Management don’t seem to know which way is the right way.
From a Personal Point of view the level of Football played in Goa at the Local Level can be surely compared to the I League. Playing any local Inter Village match as it’s called in Goa can give a hint of Talent in abundance Goa has to offer to Indian Football. North East too have a really strong football background and not to forget Bangalore.
With India set to host the U-17 World Cup, there is sense of excitement, but at the same time with the revamped National League , Improvement of Infrastructure still at a low. One doesn’t know what lies ahead of Indian Football. Grassroots have been given alot of emphasis right after the Indian Super League was started. Lack of Stadiums in Metro cities and lack of open spaces to build new ones are a major concern.
Practice Makes Perfect
A-League in Australia took nearly a decade to get where they are at the moment and so did the Major League Soccer – MLS but right now it has surely done things right which their respective National Teams are benefiting from. United States are currently playing in the Copa America Centeniro and have been playing attractive football thanks to their German Coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
I-League a Victim ?
AIFF have surely done things right as well wrong. Firstly they have certainly enforced the proposal of the new format of the ISL on all I League clubs, this can be evident with Pune FC and Bharat FC shuting shop last year even 2014-15 I League runner-up Royal Wahingdoh have shut down due to these so called Guidelines to improve Indian Football. The new rules favour all the ISL teams and have not been made keeping in mind with the I-League counter part even after FIFA made it clearly I League would be the Numero Uno League in the Country.
Breeze Surrounding the New Dawn for Football in India
The New format is certainly favourable to the ISL’s existing teams with no Relegation for the first 10 years. Taking Indian Football ahead at the expense of demoting the I League is surely not the best of decisions and in my opinion not on level playing field for the clubs.
Politics has been and always be there in any sport for that matter in India. The dominance of politics is hindering the growth and development of Football in India. Fortune favours the Brave and yet this fight isn’t over. The outcome of the revamped League will be interesting to see. AIFF will have to answer alot of questions which have been flooding alot if Newspaper’s lately.
Current senerio of Indian football doesn’t seem to have an silver lining as yet. AIFF needs to step up and address the issues at hand rather than denying the allegations and go into hiding. Only time will tell how Indian Football will develope.