Indian football need vast improvement: Gill

Updated: Aug 08, 2010, 21:24 PM IST

New Delhi: Sports Minister M S Gill praised Bengal football team for their stupendous win against Punjab in the Santosh Trophy final but feels standard of the game in the country needs a lot of improvement.

Bengal beat Punjab 2-1 in final in Kolkata to claim the title after 11 years.

“I saw Santosh Trophy final with great interest. I wanted to be present but could not due to the Parliament duties. Bengal was the better team. They dominated the second half totally. They are deserved winners,” Gill said after watching the match on TV.

“But I have to say as a footballer, we were the best Indian state. The standard of football control, stamina, short passes, and many other things have to vastly improve, if we want to go back again to Olympic semifinals as in Melbourne 1956,” Gill said.

The Minister was unhappy that the football lovers in the rural areas could not watch the match due to its limited broadcast.

“This should have been shown free on Doordarshan for all Indians to see. Business earning of the football federation naturally prevented this. How can I be happy if villagers in Bengal and Punjab all of whom do not have cable could not see the match. How can interest in football grow?” he said.