AIFF President raises issue of wrong priorities in the past

All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Kalyan Choubey on Tuesday said the country’s misplaced priority of focusing only on participating in the Olympics and Asian Games in the past perhaps led to missed opportunities and left the team almost at the bottom at the world level. Is.

India’s FIFA rankings are currently on the decline due to them not winning a single match in the Asian Cup followed by a 1-2 defeat to lower-ranked Afghanistan in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. “From 1947 to 1960, India qualified for four Olympics regularly and were the dominant team of Asia,” former India goalkeeper Choubey said on the sidelines of the celebration of 50 years of India’s victory in the 1974 Asian Youth Championship. So where is India left behind? Even in the early 1990s, when I used to play, I remember India’s ranking was below 90.

He said, “If India had played in the World Cup (1950), they would have had to face top-ranked countries and not have lagged behind.” Why India did not play in the World Cup in 1950 despite making it has been a controversial topic. But Choubey said that India’s priority at that time was the Asian Games (1951) in Delhi where it won the gold medal. “I learned that we did not play because India was hosting the 1951 Asian Games in Delhi,” he said. They did not want to travel three months by ship and did not give importance to the World Cup.

“We might have missed it by focusing only on the Asian Games and the Olympics from 1950-74,” said Choubey, claiming that the World Cup was not popular in those days and it was only after watching Diego Maradona in 1986 that The popularity of this prestigious football competition increased in India. Choubey said, “If I am not wrong, the World Cup became popular only after watching Maradona on television in 1986. By then the golden era of the 1970s was over and we missed the opportunity. It is like missing the first lap in a 400 meter race. We may be running fast but in the 400m race everyone else is a lap (100m) ahead.”

The AIFF chief admitted that India will have to make extra efforts to overtake other countries. Choubey said, “Therefore we will have to make extra efforts to compensate for this.” There is no magic formula. This is a big country and there is a lot of scope for improvement.” He said that it is important to stop age manipulation through awareness and adopting new technology. Choubey said, “First of all the problem of old age has to be tackled. We have to stop age manipulation, be it through science or by raising awareness. We have to educate others. There is also a TW3 medical test which may be made mandatory.

Disclaimer: CricketInFocus has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.

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