Sunil Chettri said “the Indian football is suffering because of lack of friendly matches in the past year” recently. The Indian football had only two international friendly matches against Bangladesh and Palestine in the year 2014. The Indian team drew against Bangladesh 2-2 and lost against Palestine 2-3. In the latest FIFA rankings India have slipped to low Global rankings of 171.
The other country Football teams around the world play 12-13 ties each year. The Indian team has neither done that nor has spent time together. India began the year 2014 at 156th place but slipped to 15 places to 171st. India also missed out on a window for friendly matches during the just concluded Indian Super League which began in October. It is important that the Indian team must play more friendly matches so that they can get more match practice. Winning and losing comes later, but if the team does not even get enough matches to play then it is a big concern. It is very necessary that the team players must be together so that they can understand each other much better.
The All Indian Football Federation must ensure that they must make arrangements for friendly matches for the football teams in the country. For example inter-university, inter-clubs and inter-state regularly. In the Sanotsh Trophy and I League the AIFF must recognize talents and give them enough chances from different clubs to showcase their talent and represent India.
This would help them to improve their skills and gel as a team. Revising the Indian Super League format on IPL style (that is only 4-5 international players and rest Indian players) may boost the morale and skill building of Indian players. In the Asian games 2014 the Indian men’s and women’s team were knocked out of the first round itself indicating the pathetic level of our game. AIFF must plan to send Indian teams to foreign countries to play friendly matches and also competitive tournaments. Asian countries like Korea, Iran, DPR Korea, and Kuwait are much better and, visiting them more often will help Indina players
The All India Football Federation should manage to provide proper infrastructure, playing conditions equipments and compensation to the players to perform better in the international friendly matches. Chettri said that Indian football must be optimistic. We must prepare a calendar to get enough international friendly matches. With the new coach in the Indian football, the fans must accept good results and build a national team for future.
I am sure that Indian football will get ready in another 5 years to compete at the international levels.
Image Courtesy: The Hindu