Goan comments on proposed Indian Pro League

The All India Football Federation has released its draft club regulations for its 2007-08 Professional League based on the recommendations of Asian Football Confederation under the Vision India Strategic Development Plan and the FA of the country's leading football state is the first to offer comments.

“With Goan clubs forming a majority as far as representation at the [current] National Football League is concerned, it remains to be seen how effectively the clubs of both corporate and non-corporate origin make the most of the prescribed guidelines in order to streamline themselves to achieve higher standards of professionalism in Indian football,” Goa Football Association secretary Savio Messias told the Navhind Times. He added he would soon convene a meeting of Goan professional clubs to deliberate and interact at length on the guidelines.

Anthony Botelho, chairman of GFA’s youth development committee and former GFA secretary, said it was essentual that clubs fall in line but they need to be given more time to do so. "I believe that the National Football League should take a break now as was the case with the Japanese League which started flourishing once it commenced from the scratch. There is need for the AIFF to start afresh and look ahead positively before it wishes to re-launch the Professional League in 2007-08. I thought these regulations should have been enforced before the NFL was launched in the Indian circuit in 1996 itself, which in retrospect was done hastily. It’s 10 years too late,” he said.

He commented that the allocation each club's proposed budget for investment on facilities needed to be doubled to 20%. “Facilities such as practice grounds for the clubs besides home stadium and other training infrastructure form an essential part of the guideline for attaining professionalism which is very vital,” he said.

He also stressed the need to concentrate more on youth development as it was the clubs at the grassroot which essentially formed a major source of player supply to the bigger clubs and they needed to be compensated as per FIFA regulation. “The regulation is in force in Goa but there aren’t many clubs seeking compensation despite being entitled for their dues and not many clubs who need to compensate smaller clubs do so despite the provisions being made,” he said.

See also: New national Indian Professional League in 2007/08 (12 Apr) and AFC tells India to focus of club and player growth (4 Apr) and AFC notes progress in 'Delhi Vision" pilot project (30 Sep 05) and India told "not to let the momentum go" (21 Jul 05)