Jamshedpur: Former India captain Brahmanand Shankhwalker today strongly opposed I-League clubs suggestion that, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) should do away with the relegation system for the next four years to get Indian football back on track.
"I think if there is no relegation system, there will be no challenge," the Arjuna awardee goalkeeper told PTI.
A senior administrator of Sesa Goa, Brahmanand is in the steel city with the Sesa Football Academy (Sesa Goa) which is currently taking part in the sixth Under-20 I-league tournament here.
"The personal and mental challenge of players to face rival teams would be dead, if AIFF did not implement the three-year safety net (relegation system) to new (corporate) clubs or the existing clubs playing I-league," said Brahmanand, who led the Indian team from 1983 to 1986.
"We should organise more and more tournaments in the age group of Under-12 to Under-16. Efforts should be made to rope in corporate houses to bear the expenses of at least one team for international exposure," he said.
The Under-17 and Under-20 boys should be allowed to play more tournaments or in the best professional clubs across the country as well as abroad to sharpen their skills, he said.
The promotion of the game was not possible if the base was not broaden and infrastructure improved, he said adding that India should focus more on Asia.
"At present, our target should only be Asia which is a major barrier to cross before thinking of Europe or other countries," he said.
"We were Asian giants in football during 1960-80s and we should make all possible efforts to regain the lost ground in Asia," said the veteran goalkeeper.