Bengaluru footballer exposes malpractices in Santosh Trophy selection
What's the story?
A Bengaluru footballer has come out on social media exposing the corruption involved in the selection process of the Santosh Trophy.
In case you didn't know...
Santosh Trophy is a knock-out national football championship organised every year by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). It is contested by the regional state associations and government institutions under AIFF.
The heart of the matter
A Facebook post by Akhilesh Bhat, a footballer who plays for Income Tax FC which is a team in the A-division of the Bangalore District Football Association (BDFA) has exposed the malpractices that take place in the selection process.
Akhilesh's post claims that a player, Shivaprasad was selected for the Karnataka Santosh Trophy probables camp despite being incredibly poor on the pitch. Akhilesh calls Shivaprasad one of the worst players he has ever played with and suggests that even a C-division team in the BDFA would think twice before selecting him.
Akhilesh alleges that Shivaprasad was selected for the camp because of the influence of his father Sethuram, who is the Secretary of Income Tax Sports Association, Bangalore.
The selection of Shivaprasad was facilitated by his father as getting into the final Santosh Trophy squad makes a player eligible for securing a government job. A player can obtain employment in the public sector units (like Income Tax, RBI etc) via the sports quota if he has represented any state in a national competition. The player is eligible for the employment opportunity in the state or central government even if he does not feature in the playing XI and is a part of the 20-man squad.
Karnataka State Football Association (KSFA) has assured that the selection for the Santosh Trophy final squad will be done based on merit on the field and no recommendation letter would be accepted at all.
A case like this brings to light the plight of Indian sports, not just football, where such malpractices exist at all levels. This recommendation culture has been harming the growth of sports in India for a long time and has caused many deserving candidates to miss out on good opportunities. State associations must weed out such harmful practices and stay focused on providing the right candidates with the opportunities and ensure a fair and transparent process.