It’s that time of the season again when the rains has given way to the sun, the skies are clear, the days are brighter and the Indian football is back to action. The football calendar of India is mainly focused on i league and the clubs are busy saving their energies for the best of the action. The seasonal and less attractive tournaments like Federation cup, Durand cup brings little joy to these clubs. But these are some prestigious football tournaments that still finds a place in the footballing action. It’s the main domestic club football tournament in India other than the i league. The AIFF introduced a new logo and a complete re branding of the federation cup this year which will be held in Kerala from Jan 14, 2014 onwards.
Kerala is hosting the tournament this time after a gap of more than 15 years. And the glory is that Federation cup is back to its homeland where the first cup happened in Kochi 37 years back in 1977. But little joy and more worries for Kerala though, the state which was one once famous for producing great talents of Indian football. There is only one team from Kerala for the tournament hosted by the state. Though AIFF has increased the number of participating teams, the Kerala clubs found it difficult to make it to the list. There is no club from Kerala which follows FIFA’s club licensing rules and even a single club has failed to make it to the i league second division. This is a shame for the state which has talents like I M Vijayan, V P Sathyan, Joe Paul Ancheri to name a few. Eagles FC is the sole participant from Kerala.
Where we lack? or is it that the Kerala football federation is least bothered about the development of the sport in the state ! We hosted Santhosh Trophy earlier this year and are the reigning runners-up. I have written earlier about the revival of Kerala football and its success.
The football administrators of the state has to be start now or its never. The state once known as the Mecca of Football in India will vanish from the footballing map of India. Repeating my earlier words “Maradonna once said ‘Football Isn’t a game, nor a sport, it’s a religion.” For Kerala football fans, it’s really a religion and they would love to see more and more clubs and football teams from Kerala competing in the national level. Lets work towards building a better future and nourish young talents so that Kerala produces the best in class football legends again and help us cheer for Kerala football in the same way that we used to !!
***Federation Cup update
The 35th edition of Federation Cup, brings together 16 top clubs – all the 13 I-League teams and three second division outfits -in a group-cum knockout format and will be played at Kochi and Manjeri. The finals will be played at Kochi on Jan 25th. The tickets are available for Rs.60 and Rs.100. The student passes are free.