Sunday, June 18, 2006

Andhra Pradesh state backs Indian football revival

The World Cup football bug has bitten the Sports Authority of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. G. Kamala Vardhana Rao, Managing Director, has decicided the SAAP will conduct district-level football tournaments across the state, irrespective of whether the Andhra Pradesh Football Association is active or defunct in some regions. "It is disgraceful that when the whole world is watching World Cup soccer, not much activity is going on in the city except at the Trimulgherry Village Grounds which was once known for producing famous names of Indian football," he explained.

According to V V Subrahmanyam in The Hindu, Rao made it clear to APFA secretary Anees-ul-Mulk that the state government had decided to revive football in a big way and the first step would be to conduct the district-level tournaments under the supervision of District Sports Development Officers. The APFA secretary reportedly "bowed to the request of SAAP" and promised to involve all the affiliated clubs and teams in the SAAP football tournament.

Subrahmanyam reported that additional to the SAAP football tournament, a forerunner for the Chief Minister's Cup to be held in August this year, the government has given the APFA a "positive response" to help revive the nearly-forgotten All-India Nizam Gold Cup.

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