Fight for power between BJP and Congress leaves future of players from Haryana in the dark
What's the story?
At a time when the footballing scene in the country is going upwards after the successful hosting of the FIFA U-17 World Cup this year, footballers from the state of Haryana are instead looking at a dark future.
Players from the state have been caught in the fire between two political factions of the Haryana Football Association (HFA). It has led to the state governing body being derecognized by AIFF.
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The struggle for power between the two parties caused the matter to reach the doors of the court. The law has therefore derecognized HFA and made AIFF do the needful at the earliest. After this decision, Haryana is not expected to take part in the next season of Santosh Trophy - India's interstate competition. Earlier this month, at a junior level national tournament held in Punjab, a team from Haryana did not participate.
The heart of the matter
HFA officials revealed that there has always been a power struggle at the association between BJP and Congress - the two biggest political parties in the country. Deepender Singh Hooda, the previous HFA president from Congress had to step down from his post after pressure from the BJP faction when the latter came into power in 2014.
Hooda then appointed Rao Dan Singh in his place who is also the current HFA president. BJP opposed this decision and nominated their own presidential nominee in the form of Suraj Pal Amu. This led Hooda and the Congress camp to approach the court which subsequently led to the derecognition of the HFA.
The HFA case is set to take place on January 6 at the Panipat High Court.
Derecognition has caused the players from the state to be barred from representing it anywhere. This has led to the emerging talents from Haryana to shift bases with a number of young players joining Delhi and the neighbouring teams in a bid for regular football. Currently, the state players are made to play in university tournaments which is a clear indictment of the power struggle happening in HFA.