The second I-League kicks off today. A word like 'professionalism' has been associated with Indian football in recent times, more in hope than conviction and the I-League is supposed to be the vehicle for change.
As things stand today, the I-League needs more change than it can think of bringing about. Most of the 12 teams do not fulfil the AFC requirements (for what??? I'm not sure...but some requirements) of having age-group teams, their own stadia etc. The AIFF have also been unable to appoint in time a CEO for the league and the recruitment process is still on. Needless to say one can expect a lack of any professionals, leave alone professionals with professional beahvior, in more executional roles as well.
Its frustrating that everytime our sportspersons take a few forward steps, the establishment just slips further behind. In the year that we have qualified for the Asia Cup and our club team has made it to the semi-final of the AFC cup, our national league refuses to mature and we stage international matches on swamps.
By the way, the winning club will receive a whopping 5 million Indian rupees for their efforts. That's 125,000 USD. That's for the I-League Champions. How much did the IPL winning team make: 1.2 million USD.