India starts a new professional league with an eye on emulating the J league, the most successful soccer start up masterminded by Saburo Kawabuchi, the man responsible for Japan's renaissance as a soccer power.
True to form, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) chief, Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi delays the inaugural match by a day as he is too busy fulfilling his duties as India's Information, Broadcasting, and Parliamentary Affairs (IBPA) minister inaugurating the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
Between the number of acronyms that this very important bureaucrat has to juggle and the number of junkets that this man undertakes, India has slipped to 145th in the FIFA rankings. That's right folks, we still play in the subterranean depths where the spotlight is diffuse and accomplishments are fuzzy and hard to find. Its been a long time and just like success, failure is a habit forming creature.
In its period of mourning, if English soccer ever needs to feel good, it only has to look to India which has not qualified for the Asian Cup since 1984. Its only recent highpoint to date is winning the Nehru Cup this year, the first time in tournament history since its resumption after a decade. Its a beginning but don't look to the new professional league for the answers to India's problems. Its only fitting that we have the minister of propaganda as our soccer chief to put the very best spin on bad news.