Vol. 5 Num 571 Tue. January 03, 2006  
Letters to Editor

Our football

Our football is losing its charm day by day. The performance of the national team in the SAFF Games was lacklustre . They won against an insipid Pakistan in the semis and then were convincingly defeated by India.

Some of your readers seemed to have smelt something of an upset in our defeat. But I don't know why. True, there was a time in the mid eighties when we were a marginally better side than India, or the strength of the two sides might have been roughly equal. But since then out football has declined and so did its popularity. It's cricket and cricket everywhere. Somehow, we have pushed the most popular game into a position of less importance. So it is small wonder that we are not doing well in the international arena.

Let's have a look at Indian football. It's not that well organised, but still club football is very popular in many parts of India. And they have a striker of Baichung Bhutia's class. Today we don't have any player whose services would be sought by a foreign club. Ours is a closed system where it's very difficult to move forward.

Football has also suffered some kind of injustice in the hands of our organisers. No concerted efforts were made to produce new players. The result is that we have very few good players.

So there is no point in expecting that the team will win against better sides when football is going through a crisis within the country.