Jammu: Appealing to all the stakeholders to come on a same page and resolve the “prevailing mess”, All India Football Federation (AIFF) Secretary General, Dr Shahji Prabhakaran has said that the roadmap to flourish football in Jammu and Kashmir is in making but the execution in toto is “impossible” unless the Jammu and Kashmir Football Association (JKFA) is not framed.
“We are in constant touch with the administration of Jammu and Kashmir but the priority at present is elections of JKFA,” Dr Prabhakaran told UNI over telephone.
Appealing to all the stakeholders to participate in a dialogue and hold deliberations to settle the “dispute”, whatever it is, the AIFF official said, “nothing is impossible and they (stakeholders) have to sit together keeping their personal scores aside in the betterment and future of football in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Notably, the matter of Jammu and Kashmir Football Association (JKFA) is sub-judice after some of the registered clubs knocked the doors of the Court claiming that they were de-affiliated without any specific reason.
However, some of the stakeholders also alleged irregularities into funds meant for the development of football.
Dr Prabhakaran said, “lot of plans are in the pipeline for football in Jammu and Kashmir but for result-oriented major decisions, the local body (JKFA) has to be taken on board and the concern needs to be addressed first.”
“Fortunately, Jammu and Kashmir has a lot of potential and youth is inclined towards football,” expressed the AIFF Secretary General further stating that the talent in Jammu and Kashmir needs to be nurtured and require a platform to groom for which, AIFF is committed.
“To enhance local capacity and participation, the constitution of JKFA is must without which, many decisions cannot reach to its logical conclusion,” Dr Prabhakaran stated.
“Our deliberations with Jammu and Kashmir administration are in progress and in our last month meeting, we discussed several programmes like enhancing infrastructure or organising an international matches with the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Secretary Youth Services and Sports (Sarmad Hafeez) and Secretary Sports Council (Nuzhat Gul),” said the AIFF top official.
“Persosnal interests should not be involved and it is a matter of sports after all, so this issue must be settled at the earliest because it is hampering the future of our footballers due to which, the investments being made (in any form) by the administration, sports clubs and all those engaged with the football, not bearing fruits,” stated Dr Prabhakaran.
“We aggressively want to support and boost football in Jammu and Kashmir but unless the stakeholders involved, will not come forward, this vision will keep on lingering,” he said and suggested that those who are not willing to participate into the exercise, can be ignored to hold elections to form a constitutional platform of Jammu and Kashmir Football Association.
On April 10, President All India Football Federation (AIFF) Kalyan Chaubey flanked by Dr Prabhakaran discussed a roadmap on football activities to be undertaken in Jammu and Kashmir with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in a meeting at Srinagar.
Sinha asked the AIFF officer bearers to set up at least one Centre of Excellence each in Srinagar and Jammu and organise capacity-building programmes for local referees so that they are eligible for officiating in bigger events like I-League etc.
He also asked the AIFF to include J&K in the panel of states and Union Territories that will host national level competitions, international and I-League matches on a regular basis.
Chaubey assured the support of AIFF in the development of football in the UT stating that the Federation is ready to work with all the stakeholders to help the youth of J&K to hone their abilities.