By Jagannath Chatterjee
New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) Indian football legend Bhaskar Ganguly, also one of the two ombudsmen appointed by the Supreme Court to formulate the constitution of All India Football Federation (AIFF), has slammed the federation for chalking out a shoddy calendar for the clubs as it takes away an opportunity for players to get more game time and improve their skills.
Considered to be one of the finest goalkeepers ever produced by India, Ganguly said that in Europe, the reason behind the high-quality football played by the players is that they get more game time as compared to the Indian players.
“In Europe, along with the leagues, they have FA Cup, European Football, UEFA Cup. They play so many games,” Ganguly told IANS sighting that in EPL or Spanish league, each team plays at least 38 matches.
“Our federation prepares calendar for only one I-League. Can you tell me the logic behind shortening the Federation Cup and naming it Super Cup?”
Strongly advocating more tournaments, Ganguly said that in his time one would play the Kolkata League, IFA Shield, Rovers Cup, Durand Cup, DCM, apart from the state-based Santosh Trophy. The former India player also blasted sponsors for interfering in the club affairs.
“Here in India, sponsors are interfering with the football too much. They are getting involved in the daily functioning of the clubs,” he said adding that it does not happen in big footballing nations. He gave the example of Quess which became a house-hold name in India because of its association with East Bengal, but started interfering in the activities of East Bengal which spoiled the relationship between the two.
He said the traditional clubs like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are weary of the sponsors because of this interference unlike the clubs in the Indian Super League.