Seems like the district football association is more interested in elections that’s why the players themselves had to fund for organising football tournaments in Sopore. For the first time, people are witnessing a football matches being played under floodlights.
Football, world’s most popular game, kick-started with its inaugural match on September 2 at Charai ground, Bagh-Islam Kranshivan Colony, in main town Sopore, which, despite being a separatist stronghold and a hotbed of militancy, drew hundreds of men and boys from across the region.
However, the sport has suffered a lot of challenges, and the major reason being the careless attitude of district football association which is more interested in elections than promoting the game.
As quoted by the Kashmir Reader, Ghulam Mohd Ganai, an ex-player of the game who lives in Sopore said, “A decade ago, Sopore football teams and players used to flourish in the sport. But recent times have changed everything. Now youth as well as spectators have lost interest, because of the association members who are more interested in elections. Nobody is ready to lead them.”
The floodlit tournament in Sopore has been started by a group of volunteers. The organisers while talking to Kashmir Reader said that such tournaments not only increase passion for the game but also inculcate a spirit of community.
“We, as well as other volunteers, have put our hard-earned money and effort into this tournament, buying almost 24 lights of 50 watts LED lamps under which this tournament is in process. We could have done much better but due to lack of time as well as budget we could only afford these lamps,” said Ovais Masoodi, one of the members of the organising committee.
When to the association officials were asked about not extending help for tournaments, Noor Mohd, who has recently resigned as district president of the football association replied that there is no functioning administration at present in the association. “What can I do about it? Until there are elections as well as registration of teams, football in Sopore will suffer. That’s the ugly reality but we have to accept it,” Noor Mohd said.
He said elections are not taking place due to a court stay obtained by some teams and Baramulla association members.