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Tamil Nadu Football Association signs MOU

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Whatever shortcomings that had led to Tamil Nadu losing the AFC's Vision India project some time back, the TN Football Association hoped to make amends with the signing of a MOU with a sports management company. Under this, both will work close together on set parameters and hopefully take the State to a new era of football development.

There are several similarities to what Vision India had planned for the State and what ironically the former director of that programme, Shaji Prabhakar, and his new venture, Futfire Sports Private Limited, hoped to achieve.

“The focus is on development of the sport from the grassroots level; to work with all the stake holders, elevate the state of football through restructuring of the sport from the grassroots level and bring about tangible changes,” said Mr. Prabhakar, while presenting his company's case here on Sunday.

Prabhakar said the prime need is to set up a body that was not only efficient but committed, cohesive and transparent. “We have to function well and also show that clearly to expect marketing links with corporates and others. On TFA's interest in a healthy State league, Mr. Prabhakar's advice was first to set up a zonal level administration. “Tamil Nadu is the first State Association to go for this tie-up and this is the first step,” believes TFA President Seeni Mohaideen, towards bringing in professionalism.

He said the solution for football development lay not in fund-raising or sponsorship deals but in football activities right from school-going children. “We need infrastructure and able administration,” he said. “We have been consistently doing well in national tournaments at all levels and in the women's sections. Our coaches and referees have been drawing admiration. But there is still something missing. We do not have an I-league team, nor enough stadia. Much can be done and that is what this understanding with Futfire will do,” he hoped.

There are plans, there are dreams but first how does he want to resolve the issue in the Chennai Association and also get a paid General Secretary in place under the new TFA constitution? Mr. Mohaideen said, “The TFA would soon work ways to resolve the Chennai issue through discussions and also to get all court cases withdrawn. We will shortly place advertisements to select a person for the General Secretary's post,” he said.

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