New Delhi: With Plan A of the Goal 2011 project being chucked, Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa offered his views on the same.
According to the plan, the AIFF planned to keep the national team players for a period of two years and thereby prepare for the 2011 Asian Cup which means that the I-League would be bereft of its stars. Speaking to Goal.com, Karim Bencherifa highlighted the link between the I-League, national team and its players, and the clubs.
"Without the clubs, there can be no national team. If the national team does well, then the profile of the I-League would grow. The players are formed at the clubs for the national team to be formed of. So, all are linked together and you can’t take some part away from it," said the Moroccan coach.
He cited two examples of Gouramangi Singh and Rakesh Masih and further elaborated on his point.
"Gouramangi was called in the national team camps and was never part of the 18 while at Mahindra and Sporting. Now, he is in the first eleven and an indispensable part of it. So who do you think make him ready – Churchill Brothers or the national team? Of course, it’s Churchill Brothers. Rakesh was also summoned for the camps and wouldn’t be part of the final squad. We began playing him the midfield and after the selectors liked him, he is now part of the 18 and even played for 30 minutes or so in the last friendly against Hong Kong," he said.
"The point here is that the clubs make players and the national team is formed of those players. Anywhere in the world this is the trend and not the other way around," pointed Bencherifa.
The former Churchill Brothers coach mentioned that the pool of good quality players in India was very limited and hence, once the AIFF decides to take away the national team players, the clubs would be left with very little to choose from.
"In the I-League, you would have some 400 players or so but the cream of it is very less. If you remove Bhaichung from Mohun Bagan or all the national team players from Dempo, then they are left with very little. Who do you have to replace these stars?"
Mohun Bagan are preparing for their away game against Al Wehdat on May 5 and shall leave on Saturday for Jordan.
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