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Are PIOs for Team India back on the AIFF Agenda?

One of the topics raised on Thursday at the India workshop at Soccerex's European Forum in Manchester was the issue of Players of Indian Origin representing India in international football. To be precise the topic was raised by London-based players age...

One of the topics raised on Thursday at the India workshop at Soccerex’s European Forum in Manchester was the issue of Players of Indian Origin representing India in international football. To be precise the topic was raised by London-based players agent Yogesh Joshee in connection with Michael Chopra’s interest to represent India.

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das gave an interesting, but somewhat surprising answer. He said, “We need to look into it. I ask FICCI to take-up the matter with the Government of India!”

Many laughed then they didn’t think the answer was serious, but Kushal Das reiterated the point and from an All India Football Federation standpoint it does make sense then the ruling by the Government of India that only Indian nationals can represent India in sports not only affects the AIFF but possibly all other sports.

Here a general body like FICCI (Federation of Industrial Chambers of Commerce and Industry) could intervene with the support and inputs from the sports federations.

In this connection FICCI representative Rajpal Singh make a wrong statement while on stage saying that India does allows PIOs and OCIs to represent the country though he did say that FICCI would take-up the matter internally and then with the government of India.

One hopes that FICCI and the AIFF treat the matter seriously and lobby with the government to change such a ridiculous rule, which only harms Indian sports rather then anybody else.

Published with permission from Arunava Chaudhuri.

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