The daily controversies surrounding the future of Indian football seems to be ever increasing. As we proceed to every new day, some of the other issues knock the door.
Recently, Talk Sports 24×7 had a detailed conversation with Mr Ranjit Bajaj, the co-owner of the former I-League Champions, Minerva Punjab FC. A few days back, the Orrisa FA cancelled the grant to host their AFC Cup matches at the Kalinga Stadium due to unclear reasons. One of them being the renovation of the ground for the upcoming U-20 Women’s World Cup, which is scheduled next year. Due to that, Minerva Punjab will be imposed with a 5-year ban from the AFC and a fine ranging around $6,00,000 if they fail to find an alternate venue in the meantime. Although several AIFF officials have told in media that they might help Minerva to solve the situation but the situation is still unclear. Now, if things don’t sort out, Mr. Bajaj claims that he’ll be forced to shut down his organization.
Similarly, another club which got promoted 2 years back to the top flight of Indian football is facing the same issue. NEROCA FC, a club based in the small yet a beautiful city of Imphal took over social media by storm. They posted a bold statement about the current state of affairs in Indian football and their possibilities of shutting down if things don’t work out.
Talk Sports 24X7 approached Mr. Arun Thangjam, the president of NEROCA FC. Here’s what he had to say regarding his club and the current situation.
● Talk Sports 24×7: We recently saw your facebook post which claimed that NEROCA FC might shut down. What is your take on that?
○ Arun Thangjam: See, if the current scenario of Indian football does not improve, and we don’t have a clear picture of what is going to happen in the upcoming season, yes we might shut down. But we have not given any confirmation regarding our closing yet.
● Talk Sports 24×7: We had a similar conversation with Mr. Bajaj about the future of Indian football and it’s pathway. Mr. Bajaj told that if there’s no clear picture of what is to happen in the next season, he will go to the court alone if anyone is not willing to. What is NEROCA FC’s stand on it?
○ Arun Thangjam: Yes, if things don’t fall in place then we would be forced to go to the court. I will accompany Mr. Bajaj with the court proceedings if that is what needs to be done.
● Talk Sports 24×7: Recently, Mr. Praful Patel claimed that he is not willing to meet the I-League clubs. Any thoughts on that?
○ Arun Thangjam (Laughing): That’s what! That’s what! If he’s not willing to then we have to take the necessary steps.
With the current Indian football scenario put at the toss, will things fall in place? Or will football become money making affair without the deserving candidates? A horrifying question which desperately seeks an answer.