How do football associations destroy football?
August 16 was the birthday of 2 great men who shaped today’s football. Ebenezer Cobb Morley, who established the world’s first & oldest football association (the Football Association) and Patrick Nally, who made FIFA rich through enormous corporate sponsorship deals. The world’s first football association was established with the object of establishing a definite code of rules for the regulation of football. Later other associations including FIFA were established with the objective of protecting the interests of football and its real masters (clubs, players & fans).
But today, many football associations are working to protect their interests and obviously against the interests of the stakeholders of football. Even world cup football, the major property of FIFA was started in 1930 against the interests of European football clubs and leagues. Major European football superpowers complained about the 1930 World Cup because players would be out of domestic tournaments for three months and did not send teams for the 1930 world cup. Now, the Qatar World Cup is happening in November and December by disturbing the schedules of the world’s major football leagues.
Now, FIFA is planning to conduct the world cup every 2 years and also planning to increase the number of participating countries. That will increase the duration of the world cup and will again disturb the schedules and the revenue of major football leagues.
Football clubs are nurturing footballers by giving them training and huge salaries. FIFA is making big money by using these footballers in the name of national teams and the world cup. FIFA is making big money by selling world cup football. The hosting countries spend big money on organizing it without getting much returns.
The above factors are just enough to understand how FIFA, the supreme football association is working against the interests of the stakeholders of football.
Whether FIFA is doing anything good for India? Surely no.
- For FIFA and for their incumbent Presidents and future presidential candidates, India is just a valuable vote which can influence many other votes.
- FIFA accepts all the bad doings of the AIFF such as accepting a closed league (ISL) along or above the I-League, a league looking like an open league. I-League itself is an amorphous league that any club with one big suitcase full of money can play.
- When FIFA approves open leagues in Europe (EPL, Laliga etc) and closed leagues in the USA (MSL), they promote a jumbled league system in India. FIFA did nothing to promote a well-structured league in India.
- Once the president of FIFA (Sepp Blatter) mentioned that India is a sleeping giant of football. But they did nothing to awake Indian football from its sleep
- Tournaments like the U-17 world cup did nothing good for Indian football.
FIFA and its subordinate associations like the AIFF happily accept financial support from the governments. But when the governments or courts intervene in their affairs for good reasons, they came with the ‘autonomy’ slogan. What an irony?? FIFA & AIFF can raise the ‘autonomy’ slogan after stopping receiving all kinds of support from the governments. FIFA, AIFF and all other football associations must work to protect the interests of the masters of football- Clubs, players and fans.