Friday, March 13, 2009

High on Ambition, Low on Thought from AIFF?

I know it's still after-CL chit chat time, but could not resist this one.

In short, the proposal is to take the top 25 Indian players, pay their salaries till 2011 and keep them away from club football, to prepare them for the AFC cup.

Has something like this ever been heard of?

As far as I see, this is too crazy to contemplate.

What happens if after keeping the players isolated for all that time and preparing brilliantly, we have a poor showing and get knocked out with three defeats? Is it a risk worth taking?

Clubs will have moved on by then and if their performance does not attract interest, will there be enough takers to absorb the entire group back into club football?

What if in 2010 a new kid with mega talent emerges? Do you not include him in the group? Do you throw someone out to keep the group limited to 25? Or do you just keep adding to the group and end with 30 players, not all of whom will even make the trip for the Cup?

Personally, while I am excited to see that ambition exists, I cannot get myself to agree that this will work. For one, while the National Coach’s interests may be limited to the National Team only, the AIFF is responsible for the game at all levels in the country and cannot ignore the interests of the Leagues and the Clubs. Second, if the AIFF believes that such a sum of money can be raised, then why not use it for something lasting like good infrastructure development, training of coaches and grass roots level football programs, than for paying the salary of players, an expense that is already being borne by the clubs today.

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