he Final Ceremony of Ist Edition of Professional Football League 2021 is scheduled to be held today, the 31st of July 2021 at Synthetic Turf TRC Srinagar at 6 PM. The match will be played between Downtown Hero’s FC and Hyderya Sports FC. The scene as usual will be electrifying with a huge gaggle of football lovers. The photographs of the supporters giggling on the stands of the Stadium will be again picked up by major publications. Kashmir has had its brushes with football since the initial decades of twentieth century when the Britishers introduced the game in the valley. The team managers had an important place in the Durbar of Maharaja Hari Singh. We keep on hearing about the spirit of great players who made it to top notch football clubs in India.
However, what one is able to grasp from the general public mood is that the economy has borne the brunt of the political situation emerging from the last three years. There are reports that indicate a colossal loss of crores of rupees. What people fail to grasp is that how this loss can be filled back to the economy? People are looking for answers, more from each other than from the establishment, that what steps needs to be taken in coming months to bring the economy of Kashmir back on track. Playing football and cricket matches is fine. People will turn up in thousands. Governments after governments and the administration has completely overlooked the poor football infrastructure in the valley. Despite the popularity of the sport here, the relevant authorities have failed to upgrade the available infrastructure. If the valley’s premier football stadium is not well maintained and falls short of logistics, it is hard to comment on other football grounds that the authorities claim to have constructed.