Former India national team manager and current Indian Super League (ISL) side, Bengaluru FC chief executive officer, Mandar Tamhane has opened up on the Supreme Court appointing a Committee of Administrators (CoA) to oversee the workings of the All India Football Federation.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed a three-member COA headed top court judge AR Dave, Dr SY Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner and Bhaskar Ganguly, former captain of the Indian National Football Team to oversee the working functions of the AIFF on interim basis.
Tamhane who has been the CEO of Bengaluru FC since July 2013, believes that the Supreme Court has given stakeholders in Indian football much-needed clarity and that they all must look forward to the elections in the future.
“At the end of the day, what we want is clarity. Until now, there have been too many ifs and buts and a lot was being said. In that aspect, the court order gives us clarity. They have mentioned drafting a new constitution by July, to be followed by elections. If that timeline is to be followed, it is something we all must look forward to,” he said as quoted by the Times of India.
India have been drawn in Group D of the upcoming 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers along with Cambodia, Afghanistan and Hong Kong and Tamhane believes that the focus of the AIFF and others should be on qualifying for the Asian Cup and working for the betterment of Indian football.
“Indian football needs a plan for the long term. Everyone is talking about qualifying for the World Cup, but we need to be realistic. At the moment, we must be looking at getting into the top-8 in Aisa.
“The second goal can be the top-4 in Asia. We need to be consistently playing in the Asian Cup and then we can think about the World Cup. Our identity depends on how well our national team does, not how good the ISL or I-League is. For this, we need a long-term plan in the short term, and everyone concerned should adhere to it,” he added.