Football: Jharkhand govt intervenes to pacify AIFF

Ranchi: A day after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) barred Jharkhand teams from taking part in the prestigious Santosh Trophy and the women’s championship, citing internal conflict within the management of the state football association, Jharkhand government on Tuesday stepped in to negotiate a way out to ensure that the talents from the state don’t miss out from the big ticket tournament.

The state sports department later in the announced through a communiqué that it’s intervention has ensured that state team will now get berth in the prestigious tournaments. Sports director Zeeshan Qamar said that they have spoken with the senior office bearers of AIFF today after receiving intimation from AIFF after which the latter has agreed to accommodate the state team.

“The sports director has spoken with AIFF officials after which the football federation has consented to make berth for state team for Santosh trophy and others. Sports director Zeeshan Qamar held extensive talks with the authorities concerned in the interest of the players of this state and said that if our team gets barred then it will have bearing on the ongoing tie-up with AIFF for promotion of football 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,” stated the official communiqué from the sports department.

Notably, Jharkhand is already playing host to 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 for hosting national u-17 camp in the state modalities for which are in final stages.

“In such situation, banning Jharkhand players from taking part in the upcoming tournaments due to reasons not in their control will adversely affect their career. Hence, state government decided to intervene in the interest of the players,” said an official.Notably, AIFF yesterday shot emails to the state sports department and Jharkhand Football Association announcing 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.