Dec 012011

In a country where cricketers rake in big bucks, footballers are reduced to sweeper-like jobs just to buy themselves a pair of football boots. Although Football is known as a beautiful game which is hailed world over, but it certainly has an ugly side to it as well. That ugly side was apparent in Indore where a group of budding state level players were forced to work as cleaners to make ends meet.

These footballers get paid Rs.2.75 for every seat cleaned. They have taken up the job to ensure they get money to buy their football kits to keep alive their passion for the sport.

Members of Anand XI Football Club — a division A side in Indore city league — have been roped in to clean Holkar Cricket Stadium ahead of the upcoming fourth one-dayer between India and the West Indies.

The talented young footballers, who have represented state level sides, were seen cleaning up the stadium.

However, seeing upcoming footballers taking up menial jobs, like cleaning, does raise some ugly questions. Feeling aggrieved and helpless at their own plight, Anand XI captain Sanjay Nidhan lashed out at the Madhya Pradesh government for reducing them to such plight.

“Football is one of the most neglected games. We are asked not to pursue it as a career option. There are many talented players here… Football needs hard work for which a good diet is required which is possible with money. I don’t understand why the state government, despite promoting various games, neglects football,” Nidhan said.


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