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India in FIFA World Cup 2022

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India’s football officials are preparing a road map for the sport’s future in the nation weeks after FIFA’s ban, which will be unveiled in December following the World Cup in Qatar.

India was eligible to compete in the 1950 FIFA World Cup, but it chose not to travel to Brazil, which was hosting the event at the time. The World Cup absence of the Indian squad is still a mystery, even though several stories have been circulated in the years since the disaster. The fact that the World Cup wasn’t merely significant enough to travel to the distant reaches of the globe is one explanation. All Indian athletes had one thing in common: they were obsessed with the Olympics. One more is that there was no funding for the trip.

The most widely accepted version, however, is that FIFA forbade the barefoot Indian squad from competing. Sports historians in India believe the Olympics-over-World Cup explanation to be more plausible and the barefoot account to be a fabrication. In reality, India did well in football at the Melbourne Olympics six years later, finishing fourth for a record-breaking performance in the history of the sport in the country.

There is no longer any mystery regarding the situation of football in the nation more than 50 years later. Indian football is in a critical state of decay due to several causes, including a lack of governance and a lack of competition. FIFA, which placed India at number 104, suspended the nation in August for failing to organize the match independently.

About Former Footballers:

The 11-day ban appears to have inspired the sport’s governing body to take action, as on September 2 a new football federation was elected and for the first time will be led by a former player. A former goalkeeper for East Bengal and Mohun Bagan clubs, Kalyan Chaubey is the new president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Another first is that the newly elected football administration’s executive committee includes both male and female former players.

The state of Indian football is important right now. According to Shaji Prabhakaran, the new general secretary of the All India Football Federation, the top authority in charge of governing the sport in the nation, the game has experienced some turbulence recently. Along with Chaubey, former AIFF players IM Vijayan, who led the Indian team, Bhaichung Bhutia, Goan Climax Lawrence, Shabbir Ali, a former captain of Hyderabad, and Pinky Bompal Magar, a member of the national women’s squad, round out the list.

Former FIFA Regional Development Officer Prabhakaran claims that the ex-national players are ready to advance Indian football. The national team lost all three of its group stage games, forcing them to leave the ongoing 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup hosted by India early, and the newly-elected body quickly realized the scope of the issues facing AIFF to grow football in the nation.

The Long Road:

A road map for the long-term growth of football in the nation is now being developed by the new AIFF officials. AIFF has postponed the announcement till late December, following the Qatar World Cup, from the original date of the announcement, which was to be made on December 11, 100 days after the election of the new board (November 20-December 18). AIFF is receiving planning assistance from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation.

To consult with AIFF representatives, a FIFA team led by Nodar Akhalkatsi, director of strategic projects and member association governance, has already traveled to India. The talks will continue with the return of Akhalkatsi, who once served as president of the Georgian Football Federation. The long-term vision for grassroots-level development, infrastructure, hosting major competitions, league development, youth development, women’s football, and producing top-notch coaches and match officials will be outlined in the road map, which AIFF officials refer to as “our Bible for developing football.”

A major objective will be to strengthen the 36 state football associations so that fresh talent may be developed at the district level. Men’s and women’s football will receive equal attention in the development strategy being created with the help of the federal government, state organizations, league partners, clubs, and marketing partners, according to Prabhakaran. It will be challenging to raise the money required for the growth of football to a world-class level.

While the federation will need Rs 1,000 crore to implement the road map, AIFF’s current budget is Rs 90 crore. The biggest footballing countries in Asia, including South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, invest more to maintain their caliber and level of play to compete in important competitions like the World Cup. Each year, Saudi Arabia and Iran provide football with more than $200 million (about Rs 1,650 crore). For the major Asian football-playing nations, public finances and marketing rights make up a higher portion of football investment.

Bigger Leagues:

Another obstacle will be persuading other states to join the main football states of West Bengal, Kerala, Goa, Sikkim, and Punjab. Future stars are never identified because there aren’t competitions to showcase skill. In India, junior-level players only get 10 matches each year, compared to 30–40 internationally. The two domestic leagues haven’t delivered on their promises either. According to Vijayan, the chairman of the AIFF technical committee, the future’s emphasis will be on grassroots development. Big-name international footballers who joined the Indian league to play and coach have vanished from the scene.

Roberto Carlos, the illustrious Brazilian left-back who led Delhi Dynamos in 2015–16, quickly realized that staying in India wasn’t doing him or Indian football any favors. Carlos said before he left that six months of football in a year was insufficient to advance the game in India. Six months are spent on the Indian Super League, while five months are spent on the I-League, the second-tier league. Two months make up the Indian Women’s League. Vijayan, who will explore lengthening league play with other members of the federation’s executive committee, concurs that Roberto Carlos is correct. At clubs or with the national team, players must be constantly involved.

Former athletes and sports analysts think that the country lacks opportunities more than skill. The Indian men’s team has earned a spot in Qatar rather than China to host the 2024 Asia Cup. The 2019 UAE Asia Cup first-round exit is something that coach Igor Timac and captain Sunil Chhetri hope to put behind them. Timac was a member of the third-place Croatian team at the 1998 France World Cup.

Around 200 million people in India are avid football fans, which Vijayan sees as a plus for the game there. We must arrange games between the Indian team and various states and clubs in locations all around the nation, he claims, so that the public may watch their national players in action. Large Asian and international clubs may come to play against our national team and clubs. More football will be played, and coaches will identify future Indian football talent.

For more insights on teams and players, keep watching this space.

Salman Shaikh
Salman Shaikhhttps://beyond100yards.com/
You can find me in the newspaper, on TV and radio, and online. I love writing about football news and sharing it with others.