Questions Galore About ‘Equal Treatment’ Given To All Sports In India; Twitterati Reacts On Funds Allocation For Football
After the news broke out on the budget allocation for the famous international sport — Football — there is a question that is lingering around on why this sport is not receiving equal treatment to that of others.
When India is at the juncture of sponsoring international events associated with Cricket, the people remain skeptical about the assurance being given to football which is more popular in the west, and its reputation can help in building good relationships between the east and west.
By looking at the developments in the field of Indian football, the Government of India has reduced funding by 85% to all India Football Federation in the last four years. The funds allocated to football as compared to other major sports are very less, and the government has cited ‘poor performance of the Indian football team’ behind it.
According to the minutes of the meeting, sports secretary Sujata Chaturvedi noted: “Considering the poor performance of the Indian football team, AIFF was advised to strictly focus on the development of grassroots-level talent.”
A Twitter user named, Mihir Vasavda, said the funds allocated to football are way less than the other major sports. “Athletics (Rs 30 crore), badminton, boxing, hockey, shooting (all Rs 24 crore each), archery (Rs 15.85 crore) and weightlifting (Rs 11 crore), equestrian (Rs 6 crore), all these sports have received a handsome budget compared to football.”
All India Football Federation has been allocated 5 crores for the 2022–23 period.
The major setback for the AIFF in this issue is from receiving 30 crores in 2019–2020 to just 5 crores in 2022–23, that is approx. 85% reduction.
A ministry official claimed, “the AIFF’s developmental work left rather a lot to be desired, highlighting the lack of age-group groups to make their presence felt at continental degree and a ladies’ soccer program that ‘lacked structure.”
Past few international performances of the Indian team played a big role in this step taken by the government, as the senior football team failed to impress and not had a good run in the World Cup and Asian Tour qualifiers.
Failure against the small teams is a major concern and a dull-looking future has resulted in the government’s decision to shift its focus to grassroots development in its place.
As reported by Indian Express, a senior AIFF official said about the ‘differential treatment’ given to the sport, “despite the differential treatment by the government, the AIFF has not compromised on any activity for the senior and junior teams, both men and women. However, it is surprising that a mass sport like football gets less funding compared to other sports that are nowhere close in terms of participation numbers and competitiveness.”
Apart from the players, the performances of the countrywide staff too, have been areas of discussion during the fund’s assembly.
The upcoming fixtures are crucial for Indian football, the lad’s staff is scheduled to play in the Asian Cup qualifiers in June. While the junior ladies will participate in Under-17 Fifa World Cup.