Jharkhand Football Association secretary Ghulam Rabbani feels that the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) decision to grant a financial package to state association is a vital step in the development of Indian football.
The president of the Indian FA, Praful Patel, in a virtual meeting with representatives of all the state associations on Monday, announced a major financial relief package of INR 3 crore as COVID solidarity fund.
The Indian FA is set to discuss each state association's individual requirements. The Western Indian Football Association (WIFA) and the Indian Football Association (IFA) have announced their decision to give up the grant but for the rest of state FAs, the step taken by the apex body is a welcome and much-needed move.
Rabbani told Goal, "This fund will be useful for staff payment and getting more workforce. It is an extremely important step taken by the AIFF."
He thanked the AIFF leadership for his unwavering support towards the state associations and felt that these steps help in developing the sport in India.
"Mr Patel and Mr. Das (General Secreatary) are supporting the state associations which is very necessary. If football is not promoted in the states then development will be hindered. And for that you need money. So if the states are boosted, then automatically football in India will also develop."
The AIFF has also decided to waive off the CRS (Centralised Registration System) fees for all players – which amounts to around Rs. 1.32 crores. The AIFF will also be waiving off academy accreditation fee worth INR 34.5 lakh for the 2020-21 season.
In Monday's virtual meeting, the AIFF president reasoned, “I understand that the Covid-19 pandemic has made life difficult for all of us, not just for football but for all issues regarding our livelihood The sport has been very badly affected worldwide, and matches are being played behind closed doors."