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Monday, Oct 18, 2021
Outlook.com

Wasted Miles

Once Asia’s best, Indian football is wilfully ruined. Hard work can save it.

Wasted Miles
Wasted Miles
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Nobody recognises his full name. But ask for ‘Balaram’ and eyes light up. The football legend, considered one of India’s best centre-forwards, lives alone in a small flat in Uttarpara near Calcutta. At 77, Balaram still keeps fit. His passion for football and disgust for officials managing Indian football are equally strong. In recent years, he coached the Calcutta Mayor’s XI and accompanied the team to Europe four times between 1993 and 1999. The school footballers got international exposure in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Germany and received encouraging reviews. Excerpts from an animated conversation he had for Outlook with Rajat Roy:

In the ’60s, three of us received training in Japan to become professional coaches after we ceased playing football. But Chuni (Goswami) never quite took it seriously while P.K. (Banerjee) did and achieved some success with Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and the Indian team. As for me, nobody got back after they heard of my precondition. I was very clear in my mind that as...

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