The Gokulam Kerala FC team has landed in Uzbekistan for the AFC Women’s Club Championship, starting on August 20.
However, Gokulam FC president, V.C. Praveen said the team received no intimation about its participation in the championship after the world football governing body (FIFA) banned the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
“We hope to play in the AFC championship. Our team has already reached Uzbekistan,” Praveen told Sportstar on Tuesday.
Praveen, however, believes it is a wake-up call for the AIFF. “The possibility of a ban has been there for quite some time,” he said. “Though the (Indian) government warned, the Supreme Court warned, the AIFF took it very lightly. So this was bound to happen,” Praveen said.
“Probably the revamp or whatever the CoA is suggesting is good for the game. For instance, the professional cricketers coming into the helm of affairs has helped Indian cricket,” he added.
He said Indian football might have to suffer for a while because of the ban, which, however, could help the sport in the country in the long term. Praveen further feels the ban could not have come at a worse time for Indian football.
“The quality of Indian players definitely has come up. The women’s football is also improving. With little more focus we could become one of the top football countries in the next 10 years,” he said.
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