A few days back while sharing a tea with Pranay I had a talk with him about the Indian Football and its future. And that’s why I started searching some information about the Indian Football. There were some facts which really cheered me up but some were really depressing. When will India will be able to qualify for the world cup for the second time. For all those who don’t know, we did in 1950 but we had no footwear for the game and wanted to play bare feet and hence were disqualified. We have taken over teams like Australia, Japan, North Korea and France. Except France which we lost by 2-1 in 1948 we have defeated all the rest.
Then what went wrong, why after the 70’s we never moved up. Is cricket responsible for the demolition of football in India. Well can’t deny that. Indians saw Sunil, Kapil and Sachin probably the best in their game and forgot the football stars. We could have moved up but our whole concentration went to the gentleman’s game. People say lack of funds caused the death of the game but I say lack of efficient and committed sports authorities were responsible. I’m sure AIFF is not the most dedicated sports organization and the officials don’t dream of game upliftment every night they go to bed. Money minting sports officials are happy to let the game die till the time their pockets are full. And that’s not just the story of football; look at Hockey a game which bought 8 Olympic Gold medals is craving for life and a proper governing body. Look at Cameroon, Ghana the day a child is born he dreams to play football for the national side and they are not one of the wealthiest nations on the globe.
There is no point craving about the past and the mistakes we made. It’s time to put life into the game however it is. This is weak time for Indian Football, Mahindra United’s decision to abandon the Club due to lack of funds has seriously raised concerns about the future of Club football in the country. If a giant like Mahindra is not able to feed the club, just think in what condition other clubs would be in. I read it in a telegraph blog “The amount of people coming to watch a club match is less than a 5th day Inter State Cricket Tournament”. It’s time for us to stop worrying about Manchester United and think about the Mahindra United. It’s the Indian Media , the Indian Public and the Indian Corporate Giants who need to step up to infuse blood in the dying baby.