Houghton has been critical of the way football has been run in the country and added that he hasn’t seen the game “move forward” in the last three years of his tenure. The Englishman added that to alter the current situation in India with regards to infrastructure, the I-League clubs must be forced to spend money to have their own training fields.
David Booth, who also hails from the land of the most
popular domestic league in the world, feels that to improve Indian football,
there must be a collective effort.
“To be fair, we’ll have to do it together,” said the 60 year
The former Mumbai FC coach felt that he hasn’t seen many
young players make it into the Indian squad, which puts one into a quandary as
to whether there is any progression.
“How many young players have been included in the national
squad. Nobody is making room at the top. What after 2011?
“If I am an Indian player, then practically, I have no
chance to enter the national team set-up as in the last six to seven tournaments;
it’s been the same set of players chosen.
“There has to be a progression,” pointed Booth.
The experienced coach opines that the recipe for success in
the Indian scenario is money, and it’s high time that people come to realize
“For the whole thing to come together, finance is the key
word. The Indian FA must generate money, get sponsorship from somewhere.”
He added that in the Indian set-up, clubs don’t generate
revenues from their supporters, which is a point to be noted.
“There are so many fans who watch East Bengal games but the
clubs don’t generate revenues from the supporters here.”
Often Indian football is criticized for not being very
exciting to watch, and that it lacks the ‘spice’ factor needed to get the
“It’s not exciting as there are no young stars coming
through,” explains Booth.
The Mahindra United coach also indirectly took a dig at
Houghton for his recent critical remarks on the state of affairs in India.
“It’s easy to just sit back and blame but to do that, you
got to have a solution first. I can’t think of anything other than a
multi-millionaire putting some money in Indian football,” said Booth.
Meanwhile, Mahindra United have begun their preparations for
the upcoming season.
“The first day was okay. Hopefully, we won’t have the
problems from last year.”