Goan teams likely to dominate I-League
By S S Shreekumar / ENS | Published: 07th October 2012 10:42 AM |
Mysore won the national football championships for the Santosh Trophy on four occasions. But after the state was rechristened Karnataka, the team has not won the trophy. Similarly, after the national football league for clubs was re-named as I-League in 2007, the championship has been claimed only by Goan teams. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal had won the NFL title on numerous occasions. But they have drawn a blank in the I-League.
Whether it was the NFL or the I-League now, it has always been clubs sides from the east or west (Mumbai’s now-disbanded Mahindra included), which have been dominant.
JCT Mills won the inaugural tournament to give a boost to football in the north but the team has now been disbanded since 2009-10. No team from the south has won it. Let alone winning, north and south does not even have token participation in the national league for clubs.
Such is the disproportion in representation that the north or south will only have to applaud a club from the east, north east or the west from among whom the winner must emerge.
It is surprising that no club from the south figures among the 14 teams in the fray in the league which got underway on Saturday.
Football administrators from the south have a lot to answer for the situation that now prevails. Bangalore outfits ITI, now disbanded, and HAL took part. Tamil Nadu had Indian Bank. Kerala had Titanium, FC Kochin, Viva Kerala taking part. Andhra Pradesh never had a team all along. Yet football talent abounds in these parts of the country.But they have no avenues to display their talent. For local leagues and tournaments are not being conducted regularly thereby forcing clubs to either shut down or shy away.
The All India Football Federation has also never given a thought to provide proper representation to all parts of the country. In the process, the I-League has failed to contribute much to the progress and strengthening of the National team. The 2012-13 edition might once again witness Goan domination. East Bengal did serve notice by defeating Dempo and winning the Federation Cup. But then the I-League is a different proposition.
Teams: Dempo, East Bengal, Air India, Churchill Brothers, Mohun Bagan, Mumbai FC, ONGC, Pailan Arrows, Prayag United, Pune FC, Salgaocar, Shillong Lajong, Sporting Clube de Goa and United Sikkim FC.