Corporate Social Negligence!

AIFF plans to buy out star players!

Posted in Football, India, soccer, sports by clash on March 9, 2009
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New Delhi: In what is an unprecedented move, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is set to embark on an ambitious plan to select 25 star players, who will be asked not to sign for any club in the next two seasons. The target is for them to play exclusively for the national team until the Doha Asia Cup in January 2011.

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This is not a surprise, indeed Bob-Houghton has been rooting for this for quite a while. Apart from being a wily coach, Bob knows the importance of excelling in International arenas, which will raise the profile of Indian Football.

He knows things might change for change for good, if the national team can earn a world cup berth or have good run in some Asian competition. It is a mighty “might”, still it is worth a try.

Then again, it is AIFF. The ever bleating clubs will be at it again, it will be a tantamount effort from AIFF, if at all this materialize. On one hand, it will be nice to have dedicated national team for football who doesn’t play club football but on the other, should’nt we think we are hampering the careers of young footballers without allowing them to play club football?

Everything has a leeway, if things are ought to be managed sensibly, after-all 2 seasons is the time span quoted and that is not bad. I am not brimming with optimism, as the lessons from history doesn’t allow me to do so. The amount of money involved in such an adventure is massive and it should be a fool proof idea, to pull it off. Will the incompetent AIFF turn the corners this time around?

Wait and Watch!

AFC Challenge Cup ’08 is India’s

Posted in Football, India, politics, soccer, sports by clash on August 14, 2008

Far away from the hustle and bustle of Olympics and the brouhaha  about a single gold medal won by an Indian, the unsung heroes of Indian football piped Tajikistan 4-1 in the final match of AFC Challenge Cup that happened in New Delhi. This is not any attempt to discredit the great achievement by Abhinav Bindra in shooting but as always our media went too far in creating an unwanted buzz about his achievement, which looks very puny when weighed against the massive population of India – 1 billion. By creating this kind of a frenzy about Abhinav Bindra, our media is toeing the lines of our corrupt politicians and lazy bureaucrats, who are trying to rally on this gold, while making us forget the pathetic state of sports in India.

The final match was shifted to New Delhi as the Gacchibowli stadium in Hyderabad turned out to be a paddy field because of the incessant rains that belted in the city. As it is, the city did not deserve to hold the finals as hardly any fans turned up to the stadium to watch the tournament. Contrary to what happened in Hyderabad, the New Delhi stadium was filled with a huge number of well-wishers of Indian football, men and women alike.

There is nothing much to be written about the final match as India were already 3-0 up by 23 minutes through goals of Sunil Chhetri and Baichung Bhutia. Over all the team played their heart out. Tajikistan too had their chances in the game, but they were too rattled to stage a come back in the match. Our defenders did quite well barring the occasional glitches that led to dangerous counter attacking by the Tajiks.  The defense would have been much better, if we had the service of Mahesh Gawli, who is injured.

The midfielders had better day on the field and i am quite impressed by Meharajuddin Wadoo who came on as a substitute for N.P.Pradeepan, who was quite rusty in the whole tournament. There is nothing much to talk about Steven Dias; his crosses and spot kicks were the highlight of this tournament. This man has a long way to go.  I am still a bit apprehensive in praising Climax Lawrence, though he had a good game as the rest of the team members.

The forward line was quite exemplary yesterday with Chhetri pitching in with a hat-trick. I criticised Chhetri for his performance level in the group stages, but now, i think i will have to re-think on this. He did play very well, held the ball up, had good close control and scored 3 goals and this is a massive achievement for him as he is a shorty, nippy forward. Whatever you may say, Baichung undoubtedly is the trump card of India and he is so lively and remarkably flexible for his age. I hope we will have his service extended till the Asian Cup of 2011.

The real hero in this tournament is Subrato Paul, for me. He is an outstanding young goal keeper, who will grow in stature in the coming years. He is tall, brave and marvellously acrobatic in the goal. He was very influential through out the tournament and made some splendid saves through out the tournament. He seems to be a very calm and cool customer and i seriously wish that some international scouts pick him up, so that he can have a stint outside the country, which will help him massively.

By winning the AFC Challenge Cup we have sealed a berth in the 2011 Asian Cup happening in Qatar, by then we will have some more talented youngsters to choose from and they will offer serious contention for the current crop of players. Mind you, we have an u-16 team, who have blanked Asian power houses like Saudi Arabia and South Korea. 

The media as always is beating drums for some Phelps who is of no importance to us. it took a bloody 2 hours for the websites of these illustrious beacons of our society to update and write a few lines about our football teams victory. Neither did i expect anything spectacular from them. There will be no victory parades in open buses, no endowments from the governments but Indian football will rally on; sad to say with a corrupt and inefficient man heading the ALL India Football Federation.