State govt steps in to ensure berth for state teams in national football tournaments
A day after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) disallowed teams from Jharkhand to participate in the prestigious Santosh Trophy and the women’s championship, citing internal conflict within the management of the state football association, the Jharkhand government on Tuesday stepped in to negotiate a way out to ensure that the talents from the state don’t miss out on big-ticket tournaments.
The state sports department announced through a communiqué that its intervention has ensured that state teams will now get berth in prestigious tournaments. Sports director Zeeshan Qamar said that they have spoken to senior office bearers of AIFF today after an intimation from the body following which the latter agreed to accommodate the state team.
Now, with the matter resolved an official communique from the state sports department states, “The sports director has spoken to AIFF officials after which the football federation gave its consent. Sports director Zeeshan Qamar held extensive talks with the authorities concerned in the interest of the players of the state and said that if the team are barred, it will have an impact on the ongoing tie-up with AIFF for football promotion in this state. AIFF has now assured to allow our team take part in the tournament stating that they are immediately sending one technical team to handpick select the state squad.”
Notably, Jharkhand is hosting the national women’s football camp in Jamshedpur for next year’s AFC Women’s Cup India 2022 — a flagship continental championship ((Asia cup) scheduled in India from January 20-February 6.
This apart, sources said that the sports department is also considering hosting a national U-17 camp in the state modalities for which are in final stages. “In this context, banning Jharkhand players from taking part in tournaments due to reasons not in their control will adversely affect their career. Hence, the state government decided to intervene in the interest of the players,” said an official.
Notably, AIFF on Monday, shot emails to the state sports department and JFA conveying its decision to bar the players from the state due to the "internal rift". AIFF had said that it received two independent teams for both the competitions, one recommended by the Chairman- Hony. Secretary while another recommended by the President- Jt. Secretary. “Upon receiving four lists in total from the JFA, the AIFF entered into resolution communication with the management of JFA immediately. However, despite the AIFF’s repeated attempts to ensure that the rights of the players and the chance of the member association to participate in national competitions are not affected, the JFA committee did not resolve the issue,” the letter had stated.
The date for Jharkhand teams to report for the women’s championship is November 25 and for Santosh Trophy is on November 28.