Second Division I-League teams differ on use of ball

February 28th, 2009 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) The Second Division I-League kicked-off Saturday in Silchar with at least two teams expressing their unhappiness over the football used in the tournament.
Mumbai club Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Kolkata’s George Telegraph resented the use of Indian brand Nivia Shining Star ball, saying they practise with Nike.

“Our players practise with Nike balls and they will have problems with Nivia. We play most of our tournaments with Nike and even for the I-League we practised with it. It would be difficult for our players to adjust to Nivia balls,” ONGC team manager B.K. Bhowmick told IANS.

All-India Football Federation secretary-general Alberto Colaco, however, pointed out that most of the clubs playing in the Second Division I-League were comfortable with the Indian brand as the ball has been in use for years.

The quality of the ball was the topic of discussion at the managers’ meeting on the eve of the tournament where Kolkata’s George Telegraph Club official said his players would have problems in adjusting to the the ball.

“We were never told about the brand of the ball to be used in the league. The swing and the spin of Nike is much better than Shining Star. And there is a world of difference between the two brands,” said team manager Anjan Dutta.

The officials said they conveyed their displeasure to the AIFF.

Colaco says how could the teams assume that the league would be played with the Nike ball when there was no mention of any brand in the league prospectus.

“Moreover, Nivia is a standard ball and is in use for decades. The Nike balls are highly expensive and all teams can’t afford it. So we have to think of others also,” said Colaco.

Colaco said that Nike is used only in the first division I-League and for the national team.

“Nike ball had been in use only for the past two years, before that Nivia was used. It is only a couple of teams are making a fuss about the standard of the ball,” he said.

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