Pune: Rules are meant to be broken they say and this was proved right by the Pune District Football Association (PDFA), an affiliate of the Western India Football Association (WIFA). The PDFA has broken their own promotion rules for clubs as the new season is getting ready to start.
According to the PDFA rules, two teams (winners and runners-up) of every division get promoted and two teams at the bottom of that division get relegated.
This year, however, the PDFA after the league got over, decided to promote five teams to the Second Division from the Third Division and three teams from Second Division to the First Division, which is against the set rules and regulations.
A few players across the clubs were, however, not satisfied with the recent development saying, “If the PDFA had any plans to promote more than two teams, they should have notified this in advance before the start of the leagues, which would have ensured that every team planned their games accordingly, this decision seems more influenced to benefit specific teams.”
“We had the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 25, which was attended by the PDFA Committee members along with President Dr Vishwajeet Kadam, Treasurer Mandar Tamhane and Vice President Pyarelal Choudhary. During this meeting I had raised a question of more than two teams being promoted this year, to which Pyarelal Choudhary responded saying that “As mentioned before the leagues, only two teams will be promoted and relegated,” Shanup Nair of CMS Falcons informed.
“The standard of club level football has dropped drastically compared to what it was earlier. The highlight being the way recent promotions and relegations have taken place. There has to be a Players Association and Referees Association to address their concerns too, which falls on deaf ears. Teams are afraid to come on record to say anything against the association as they fear the consequences post sharing their views. We have no idea on how to get into the system or association to help improve it, as from what I have heard is that the laws of PDFA elections are so complicated it is made to suit the current chair holders,” Nair rued.
Highlighting some more issues faced by clubs, Vijayan Arland from Fatima XI said “I have realised that in the last few years, amongst all the teams that are registered under the PDFA, the secretaries of the Second and Third Divisions are not invited for the Annual General Meeting.”
“Teams of the lower divisions play with the fear and pressure built by the PDFA. Behaviour of the PDFA Secretary Pradeep Pardeshi and the way he speaks does not match the stature or post he carries,” Arland pointed out.
“Many people have no respect for him. It feels like he is talking to his workers. It’s never comfortable to approach him. I prefer to approach the Vice President, Pyarelal Choudhary who at least speaks decently, gives respect and is approachable,” Arland added.
“The PDFA will now also pressurise the teams with consequences like banning the teams who have given their names and spoken against the wrong doings by the PDFA,” Arland feared.
Further highlighting the issues, Zishan Patel from Mischief Makers said “There are a lot of problems that we have been facing from years now. The charm of Pune football is lost. The Pune District Football Association set the rules according to what they want anytime and anyhow. They will support teams which are ready to vote for them. Any team that takes a stand, faces opposition from the PDFA officials. It is all dirty politics and the sport is not growing because of that. There is a lot of quality when it comes to players but it is of no use because the PDFA will never let football or players grow in Pune. Hope the people in the system take this in a positive way and do what is right.”
Another player from Strikers Football Club, Sohan Singh Sona said “Recently we came to know that the added teams have been promoted without our knowledge, which is against the rules of two teams being promoted. Also the prize distribution of last years leagues, which was supposed to be held in June has still not happened.”
How outrageous PDFA Secretary could be
- Media should not interfere in our working and it does not have any right. Media should not play a role in our functioning.
- All the players who have a problem should contact us directly and not speak out. Players speaking to the media is wrong. There is no meaning left for the committee then. If the media wants to interfere in our working, then the media should come and run the association.
- We will not be issuing an official statement on this. Statements are not given on email and text messages. Whoever wants clarity should come and meet us personally.