The Executive Committee of the All India Football Federation is meeting tomorrow in New Delhi.
And that meeting could be decisive for the short, mid and long term future of Indian football. Or it could turn out to be is just another ExCo meeting with no crucial decisions taken and they are postponed to a future meeting.
This has been the practice for years and especially in the last few month's, but this can't go on in the current scenario with key decisions pending.
Bob Houghton issue
The most pressing issue is the resignation of national coach Bob Houghton earlier this week.
The mood amongst players, media and fans is crystal clear. Bob needs to stay, at least up to the end of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in January next year. There is no point of discussion on this.
And if he wants to stay longer until 2013 then surely we should keep him. As the Asian Cup is only a step in our development and a new team will have to be build after the tournament with some senior players sure to resign.
Good to see is that in numerous interviews the players have come out in support of their coach. And said what a disaster it would be for them and their preparations. And one can only agree.
Bob has build something over the last four years. Now comes the toughest assignment for him and his boys so far. They need the best possible preparation, only then will we come back from Qatar with our heads held high.
And to make this possible tough decisions need to be taken, otherwise the federation will jeopardise the progress Team India has been making over the last few years. And we could be in for a trashing and some players might even resign from Team India before the tournament.
Mahindra United fallout
The other important issue is of the Mahindra Group winding up Mahindra United and pulling out of the I-League.
I had written earlier that this has been a threat for years, but the federation seems to have ignored the signs and were caught on the wrong foot on this issue.
It is a terrible sign to other corporates who have shown interest to join the I-League and what will those corporates do who have a team in the league. Could other follow in the near future?
Especially Mumbai could be hit hard if rumours are to be believed about Mumbai FC and Air India.
The AIFF needs to speak to the clubs asap and find ways to help them generate more revenue to run their teams. The issue of financial viability has to be addressed as some clubs are having problems again and again towards the end of the season to pay salaries.
And discuss ways on how a general sponsorship pool is created where clubs get money from the AIFF/I-League like leagues do around the world. Be it from central sponsorship deals or TV rights and not just travel expenses.
Even FIFA and the AFC need to tackle this problem, if they want to take Indian football forward and not see other clubs go the Mahindra way.
It is five to twelve and swift action is needed.