The AIFF appointed committee met the Indian national team players yesterday and today to discuss their salaries for the eight month period in which the players will be contracted to the national federation as part of the preparations for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.
The AIFF appointed committee consists of Alberto Colaco, Subrata Datta, Joaquim Alemao and Larsing Ming, but Joaquim Alemao could not attend the meeting in Delhi. And at the end of day one 17 players had signed the contracts, nine further players signed the contracts on Wednesday, while three players would only sign later. The concerned three are Sunil Chhetri, Subrata Pal and Gouramangi Singh. While Sunil is busy in the MLS with the Kansas City Wizards, Subrata yesterday left for Canada for a trial with the Vancouver Whitecaps and Mangi will soon leave for Australia for his trials with Melbourne Hearts.
The talks weren't as easy as the federation would have hoped as some players have doubled or even trebled their salaries in the ongoing transfer period. The system of paying the players last years salary plus a 15% increase for those eight months would not work.
A group of five players were especially not happy with the offer. Dempo quartet Samir Naik, Anthony Pereira, Climax Lawrence and Clifford Miranda have signed much better contracts by their club, while Steven Dias did the same through a transfer to Churchill Brothers. Only after discussions and negotiations they accepted the new offers.
It is interesting to see that a number of players, who where on contracts in the region of 15 to 25 lakhs are now receiving 40 to 50 lakhs. If there is one good thing with the I-League, then it is the salaries of the players which have gone up considerably over the last three seasons.
The federation meanwhile can only blame itself that the contracts weren't worked out earlier in the year as now it will have to spend much more on paying the players. Money saved here could have been spend elsewhere in Indian football. And I always hear the AIFF is short of money, it doesn't seem to be so...
The good thing is that the contracts are finally worked out and the preparations can now start in right earnest. Only we the fans would like to know what is going to happen in the coming eight month's ahead of the Asian Cup. Except the two friendlies against Thailand in September and the Portugal camp in July/August nothing is known.
Here the names of the 17 players who have signed on the dotted line on Tuesday.
Baichung Bhutia (Captain), Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Irungbam Surkumar Singh, Mahesh Gawli, Deepak Kumar Mondal, Anwar, Govin Moirangthem Singh, Nanjangud Shivananju Manju, Samir Naik, Nallappan Mohanraj, Steven Benedic Dias, Anthony Pereira, Climax Lawrence, Naduparambil Pappachan Pradeep, Renedy Singh, Clifford Miranda, M. Mohammed Rafi.