*Insist for ad-hoc body till fresh elections
Excelsior Sports Correspondent
JAMMU, Feb 26: The national and international footballers of Jammu and Kashmir including ace footballers-Mehraj-ud-Din Wadoo and Arun Malhotra today demanded dissolution of the existing Jammu and Kashmir Football Association and constitution of the ad-hoc body till the fresh elections of JKFA.
These footballers of International repute, while addressing the media persons under the banner of ‘National and International Footballers Forum-J&K’ said, “The system prevailing to run the affairs of Football Association is poor and jaundiced rather has completely collapsed. Now JKFA deserves dissolution and an ad-hoc body needs to be constituted till the fresh elections are held to frame the new office- bearers.”
“The existing JKFA lacks vision as for as technical aspect of the game is concerned. It hardly knew anything about the changing trends in football, especially regarding introduction of I-League and emergence of professional football clubs. So, in the light of recent developments, we have firm belief that present quorum of JKFA should leave the sports body,” said Mehraj-u-Din Wadoo.
Assistant coach with Hyderabad Football Club, Wadoo went to the extent saying that he was ready to sacrifice his job with the J&K Sports Council (JKSC) for the sake of football.
International footballer from Jammu, who has played for East Bengal and Mahindra Club before joining as an executive with ONGC, Arun Malhotra expressed his concern over things not changed in last 20 years or so in Jammu.
“The grounds, we used to train as a young footballer, have gone bad to worse. No new talent has made it to the National squad during last 15 years or so. Being difficult hilly terrain and difficult to reach districts in Jammu Province, the football needs some passionate individuals with true love for the game and not the chair. The JKFA needs an overhauling with people committed towards the game of football,” said Arun.
Another international player from Kashmir, Ishfaq Ahmed, who presently holds the post of Assistant coach with Kerela Blaster could not attend the event but put forth his views through a video clip. He too advocated for the change in JKFA and promotion of football in a professional manner.
Wadoo said time and again Jammu and Kashmir Government has provided huge support to the game but poor organisation and mismanagement by present regime has ruined the game.
“Only limited people are playing to the galleries and have become decision makers,” he said and added that JKFA has presence only in 5 to 6 districts and numbers of registered clubs have decreased to 250 from 800.
Malhotra said that the current JKFA has violated the rules of the constitution and asserted, “President of any association can hold the office for a maximum period of 12 years with our without break, whereas JKFA President is in his 16th year and has no plans to quit.”
More than 70 percent of the district bodies are defunct where no elections have been held and no league structure in place, said the footballer and added, “there is no executive body in place and all decisions are taken individually.”
Pertinent to mention here that few months back 12 members who were elected and nominated in the previous elections held in 2018, have tendered their resignations blaming failure of the JKFA working for the betterment of the game in Jammu and Kashmir.
They footballers also demanded to retrieve the electoral list, voting rights and election procedure of the association and to make it public for any objection and to appoint one committee to investigate the accounts related to the funds received by JKFA for the past five years.
Ace footballers also threw light on the poor performance of J&K women team, giving example of its heavy (26-0) thrashing by Jharkhand.
To a question as to what was their road map and developmental plan for promoting football in J&K, the footballers of International repute said that categorization of the areas along with professionalism will be the mantra for promotion.
“One witnessed a good number of Departmental teams affiliated to JKFA earlier and now there are a few teams in the fray. Moreover, the sponsors need to be lured towards funding the events,” maintained the Footballers.
Former general secretary of the JKFA, Bashir Moulvi; former vice president of JKFA and international player, Ramesh Chander; former India U-21 captain, Amardeep Singh FIFA instructor, Hilal Rasool Parry, India women team coach, Sajid Yusuf Dar and former chairman of J&K Bank Sports Board and veteran footballer, Abdul Hamid Bandey were among other speakers, who took pain to highlight the plight of football in J&K, during the event which was also attended by a host of representative from the district football units from across the Union Territory.
*Insist for ad-hoc body till fresh elections