Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri has stated that a ban by FIFA could prove to be disastrous for Indian footballers including him.
After the Supreme Court of India removed Praful Patel as the president of the All india Football Federation (AIFF) and appointed a Committee of Administrators (CoA) to run the game in the country, there has been major speculation that FIFA will hand India a ban for alleged interference in governance of the sport in the country.
Chhetri was questioned regarding the same during his national team camp in Kolkata and he said, “I hope everything will come out as good for the sport and the country does not get a ban. The ban will be catastrophic not just for the whole country but for me, because I’m 37. You never know when there’s the last game for you.”
The Indian legend was then asked about rumours relating to his retirement. The 37-year-old replied, “Same question was asked, again and again, it was asked during the last Asia Cup and I said the same thing. Five years have passed. It’s the same now. I was 32 then, now I’m 37-38. I don’t know, maybe. Right now, I’m enjoying my game. The day I don’t, I’ll be done, I can’t give you a number when.
“It’s not easy to get up at 6 o’clock everyday or do a 30-minute yoga session before everyone wakes up. It’s a very, very strict life that I live. It’s not easy to do it for 21 years.”
The Supreme Court reconstituted the CoA last month and it will be headed by former judge A.R.Dave who will manage the day-to-day affairs of the All India Football Federation. The CoA will also facilitate the adoption of the AIFF constitution in line with the National Sports Code and model guidelines.
Meanwhile, a ban for the AIFF can lead to India being stripped off its rights to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in October later this year.
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