I had mentioned yesterday the state of Andhra Pradesh has not been allowed to take part in the 65th edition of the National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy due to factionalism within their state football association.
The AIFF decided not to allow any team from the state to play in the Santosh Trophy till the matter is clarified as there are differing court orders which do not make it clear which one of the selected teams can legally represent Andhra Pradesh.
And who is suffering due to this situation? Andhra Pradesh's football with especially its footballers due to officials not being able to work together or allow another person or group to run football affairs in the state. The AIFF has tried to resolve the issue in the past, but still no resolution to the impasse has been found.
Andhra Pradesh, under the old Hyderabad, was a hot-bed for football talent with Hyderabad City Police being one of the best teams in the country in the 1950s and early-1960s. But that has faded over the years though the city has some decent football infrastructure due to the 2003 Afro-Asian Games.
The conflict within the Andhra Pradesh Football Association has been now going on for seven long years with both factions bringing in more and more often the courts to block the other side from sending sides to the senior, Under-21, Under-19 and Under-16 Nationals; organise local league and tournaments.
Often Andhra Pradesh had to stay away from national level tournament with the only exception being last years Santosh Trophy in Kolkata when the AIFF appointed an Andhra Pradesh Football Revival Committee which worked for a while in the interest of the state's football.
The footballers are the biggest sufferers as they can't make football their career or look at options of getting government and railway jobs. The beautiful game is being killed in Hyderabad and across the state.
I hope my friends in the AIFF read this and take the necessary action to restore Andhra Pradesh football in the general interest of Indian football.