India among 10 countries to joins hands for the formation of Southwest Asian Football Federation
India has decided to join a new zonal FA, joining hands with some of the top countries from the Middle East.
What's the story?
A new sporting body has been formed for countries in the South West Asian region, the SWAFF (South West Asian Football Federation). It will be headed by Saudi Arabian Football Federation head Adil Ezzat and will have its headquarters in Jeddah.
In case you didn't know...
The South Asian and West Asian Football Federation combined on May 10th 2018 to form the SWAFF. The member nations include India, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Yemen. Notable members like Nepal, Bhutan, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Qatar have been left out.
The heart of the matter
The motive of this move is to develop the sport in this region through tournaments and events held annually among the 10 nations that have joined hands to form the federation, according to reports.
Turki Al-Sheikh has been announced as the honorary president of this union, which like all unions aims to improve the quality of the game and hence raise the level of Asian football. This move was triggered by Ali Bin Al Hussein, chairman of WAFF refusing to move the headquarters of WAFF to Saudi Arabia.
This move comes as a boon to India as we will see India competing with the top teams in Asia on a more regular basis. The quality of football will be much higher than SAFF as it includes teams playing in the World Cup, like Saudi Arabia.
The past year has seen a lot of ups in Indian football. The FIFA rankings have also reached new highs, to as low as 97. However, the quality of opponents has not been that high and Indian football surely has a long way to go.
The unbeaten run hides certain fallacies and this new model will not only expose and help correct them but also provide the vast experience of playing against the best teams in Asia.