Mumbai: Churchill Brothers Patron-in-Chief Churchill Alemao attacked All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful and corporate firm Reliance for commercialising the game at the expense of players’ interest. The Goan politician left no stone unturned to accuse both the parties of being hand in glove to destroy Indian football.
“Reliance and Praful Patel, the two are on a mission to finish football in India. Reliance has been allowed to control football and see what they are doing to people who have contributed to the growth of football for years,” Alemao told newsmen in Panaji.
It may be recalled that that Goan outfit was thrown out of I-League after 2014 edition after the club failed to adhere to the regulations regarding club licensing — Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) club licensing criteria. But that created a bad blood between the club owners and the parent body of Indian football. Churchill even went to the extent of claiming the team’s from the I-League was a ‘churlish’ move due to its opposition to the Indian Super League (ISL).
In a scathing attack on the three-year-old ISL, Alemao believed that the cash-rich league is destroying football in India. “If the ISL has to continue due to it’s business compulsions then players of all the existing clubs should be selected. Players cannot be at the receiving end of this duel between whether ISL should supersede the I-League or not,” Alemao said in one breathe.
“The ISL trains only 3 to 5 (Indian) players and builds the team around foreigners. This type of situations does not help cultivate local talent.” the Churchll Brothers supremo felt.
The 67-year-old administrator also didn’t spare the NDA government at the centre for not supporting football in states. “What is the use of declaring football a state sport?”asked the former strongman from South Goa.
Praising former AIFF chief Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, he explained how he started the I-league in India to provide more exposures to the Indian players. He slammed the ISL for extending red carpet to foreign players allow them to make moolah.