Tribune press service
Chandigarh, November 19
Patting on the back for hosting the North Zone Santosh Trophy here, the Chandigarh Football Association (CFA) failed to secure train ticket bookings for the local women’s team to compete in the 26th National Football Championship Women’s Senior Hero, to be held in Kerala from November. 28.
Interestingly, 32 states including Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have confirmed their participation in the football championship. However, Chandigarh failed to confirm their entry into the championship. This deprived local players of the opportunity to perform in national championships and enjoy additional admission or scholarship application benefits. The Indian Football Federation (AIFF) has released the matches of the tournament in Kerala.
“We had planned to send the team. However, the team was not sent in particular due to the increase in the number of Covid cases in Kerala and the non-availability of reserved seats. We cannot force our players to travel without getting a proper booking in unsanitary conditions,” said Vikas Sharma, Senior Vice President, CFA.
It is not the first time that the association has not sent a local team for the national championships. In 2019, the local sub-junior girls did not participate in the national football championship held in Cuttack for the same reason.
Meanwhile, the players said they had been kept in the dark about their participation in the Championship. “Each state sent their teams to compete in the championship except Chandigarh. We were told that the CFA would organize trials and send a team. We were shocked to hear that the CFA decided not to send the team,” a senior player said.
“If tournaments for men can take place, then why not for women?” said another player.
Sources have also confirmed that many of these players have decided to participate in local or national tournaments of other sports disciplines.