The other side of Indian football

Indian Football

While the players are slowly seeing growth in their salary caps and recognition, there’s still another side of Indian football that is still lagging behind.

Indian Football

Photo by: Shaun Roy/ ISL/ SPORTZPICS

From poor ground conditions, lack of proper medical assistances to poor management issues, there have been regular problems in the Indian football circuits.

Recently AIFF’s decision to hold a 4-Nation tournament, which was later changed onto tri-series, in Chennai hit a major roadblock when the SDAT failed to procure No objection certificate for the ground. According to certain reports, AIFF received bills for the games instead. The appalling state of affairs later forced AIFF to shift the games to Mumbai.

While management problems have been a regular issue, the payments for football staffs aren’t great either. Amidst the already existing problems of poor refereeing in I leagues, India’s best referee for a long time now – Pranjal Banerjee, is on a verge to leaving the job in search of better prospects. The match official, who has been the torch-bearer of Indian football in the international stage in the last few years, has inspired hundreds of young referees to take the job. But despite so many achievements, Banerjee is facing problems due to lack of proper financial security.

Also Read: Bengaluru FC unveil new home kit

Having never got any secured job which could encourage him to continue to live his passion, Banerjee is looking for other opportunities. He has a good offer from New Zealand and is contemplating on taking it, despite a new job offer from a local Municipality. Pranjal explained, “Even if I decide to stay back in India to take this job, I won’t be having ample leaves to continue to work as a referee.” Pranjal’s frustration was on the fact that despite being appreciated for the work, he is not recognised the same in Monetary matters.

It’s not just the staff but even the clubs are facing financial problems. While ISL clubs are new and are reportedly ready to continue despite incurring losses, the same cannot be said for I league clubs.  A lot of I league clubs over the past few years have shut down due to lack of financial returns.

While Indian football may seem to be looking good under the clouds of ISL or the upcoming U-17 World Cup, there is still another side that needs an upliftment.

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