AIFF Plans Big to re-vamp Santosh Trophy

ashindiaashindia 9264 Points
Guwahati: Will Santosh Trophy go the Ranji Trophy way
With no stars in action and dwindling public interest,the once glorious national football championship has now been reduced to just a footnote on countrys domestic football calendar.The All India Football Federation (AIFF) may now finally sit up and act on a suggestion to revamp it,following the structure of the BCCI-run domestic first-class cricket championship.

Taking a cue from Ranji Trophy,the AIFF may also introduce Elite and Plate Divisions for the Santosh Trophy.The move is aimed at,first,giving more exposures to weaker teams,and,secondly,providing a much-needed competitive edge to the contest for leading teams.

The AIFF is mulling a number of plans of restructuring the format of the Santosh Trophy.Its one of the countrys main sources for unearthing talents and by adopting a two-division structure,Indian football can move forward with opportunities of involving more players from untapped regions, an AIFF office-bearer told TOI.

The federation is also exploring another suggestion to turn Santosh Trophy into an age-group tournament,so as to keep national and I-League players away from it.
With a handful of spectators and no star-studded teams,the ongoing Santosh Trophy in Guwahati wears a sorry look of insignificance.The fact that it is being held in direct conflict with the I-League makes it all the more irrelevant in the national perspective.

Former chief national coach Bob Houghton had been vocal against forcing national or I-League players to feature in tournaments like Santosh Trophy.Although Bengal coach Shabbir Ali nurtured a different opinion from the veteran Englishman,he would not mind seeing it restructured as an age-group meet.
Any plans of scrapping meets like Santosh Trophy entirely from the national calendar will be self-destructive for Indian football.We need a platform where local,unknown talents can be displayed and properly scouted, the former India forward maintained.

Unfortunately,no talent-scouting official is in view here nor has local organisers Assam Football Association done anything to sell the ongoing tournament to the people.

Football is not as popular as cricket but we are trying hard to make it attractive, was how AFA secretary Ankur Dutta put it rather nonchalantly.

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  • namewtheldnamewtheld Kolkata5665 Points
    The plans are interesting. Age group tourney of santosh trophy stature wil do a world of gud. Also, creatin plate grp wil provide level playin field for smal teams. But there are multpl points to pondr ovr- 1. Problm of ovraged playrs. MRI shud b done b4 evry tournamnt
    2. DD shud b roped in as it wud hv lil comercial intrest. Howevr IMG wl hav d rights. They shud do jstice to it
    3. Trained scouts shud b hired to make it a resource generator
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