Save Indian Football

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Hello Sirs,

You might have noticed that Indian Football is in a turmoil at this point of time. What started as a recreational league in 2014 is slowly eating up the game. The top-tier of Indian Football, I-League, which is recognised by AFC and FIFA has been subject to gross misconduct by the AIFF and FSDL over the last 22 seasons that has led to over 15 teams, including former champions, Dempo Sports, Sporting Club de Goa among others not participating at any level.

Recently, Star Sports India has decided that only 30 games out of 55 in the 2nd round of the I-League will be broadcasted by them. This doesn't come as a surprise as Star Sports hold a majority stake in the Indian Super League, which they tout as the top division in India, but doesn't have any recognition from the continent and the world governing body.

What has eluded my brain is how can a broadcaster own the league in a country and why has AIFF allowed the conflict of interest to prevail? On the other hand, how does FSDL which has a working capital limit of INR 3 crores (roughly GBP 350,000) is running football in this country. How can there be two top leagues in a country? Why didn't the AIFF merge them?

I would like to urge AFC and FIFA to come forward and save the state of the game in the country, even if it means going to the extent of suspending the All India Football Federation. We are ready to take the suspension now, if it means the long term future of Indian Football is secured.



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