New Delhi: Football`s profile in the
country needs to be improved and more effort required from the
AIFF if a player is to get Arjuna Awards in future, All India
Football Federation acting president Praful Patel said on Wednesday.
Three footballers -- Mahesh Gawli, Climax Lawrence and
Deepak Mondal -- were nominated for this year`s Arjuna Awards
and none is expected to be included in the list to be
announced by the Sports Ministry.
"Football needs improvement in popularity in the country.
It is popular but lacking in terms of people watching matches
in television," Patel said when asked why footballers have not
received the national sports awards for a long time.
"They deserve to get the awards, that is why we have
nominated them. But we (the federation) have to push the
government more if our players are to get the awards," he told
reporters after AIFF`s emergency committee meeting.
Patel thanked the government for chipping in with the
`2011 Goal Project`, which aims at a good result from the
national team in the 2011 Asian Cup in Doha.
"We thank the Ministry for helping us financially in the
project which is important for us. We are doing our bit and if
the government chips in it will make our job easier," he said.