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Dasmunshi against auction of footballers

sports Updated: Mar 24, 2008 22:15 IST

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The Indian cricket Board may be gung ho over the astronomical sums, cricketers attracted in the Indian Premier League auction, but for India's apex soccer regulatory body All India Football Federation such bidding for footballers is a strict no-no.

"I wouldn't like to auction footballers as was done in cricket," AIFF president Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi told newspersons here on Monday.

Refusing to accept that cricket posed a threat to football in India, Dasmunshi said while soccer was a world game, cricket was only a popular game of the Indian subcontinent.

"I'm not envious of cricket. Neither is cricket envious of football," Dasmunshi said, responding to queries from newspersons at the Calcutta Sports Journalists' Club tent.

He exuded confidence about the future of soccer in the country, saying "We have reached the stage of professionalism. It will take some time. Cricket is driven by market forces. But football will develop on its own."

Dasmunshi said corporate bodies were already coming in good numbers to sponsor the game, and made specific mention of Bharti Telecom which is sponsoring the AIFF's proposed academy in Goa.