Jamshedpur, August 6: Activists of tribal students, Adivasi Chatra Ekta (ACE), locked up the main gate of the Tata Football Academy (TFA) for four hours on Wednesday demanding preference to local talents in recruitment and promotion of cadets and 50 % quota for local talents .
The outfit locked up the gate after staging a dharna near the TFA premises for the past two days. Protesters raised slogans against TFA and disrupted traffic movement at the cradle.,
The protestors decided the dharna which was earlier scheduled for two days after none of the officials from TFA gave them time to hear their grievances.
�After locking up the gate at 10 in the morning we around 10 in number went to JRD Tata Sports Complex being called by Farzan Heerjee , Chief GR & Sports, Tata Steel, he assured to look into the demands in a positive manner and we had a smooth talk with the TFA management , later at around 2 pm we decided to open up the gate,� said Jasai Mardi, chief patron of the ACE.
He said that not a single player from Jharkhand had been selected in the Academy in the last four years and since the formation of the academy back in 1987 players from Jharkhand have not been given the right attention.
Mardi further said we have been demanding the TFA to hone skills of Jharkhand boys. But nothing has been done so far. Cadets from different states are being selected while the locals are being ignored. We decided to lock the gate as no one from the TFA came to meet us.
“We welcome TFA’s move to pick up best talents from across the country, but it should also accord preference to the local talents,” Mardi said and dared TFA management to shift the Academy anywhere in the country, if Jharkhand really lacked football talent.
Mardi said that the advantages of starting at young age group are invaluable and innumerable. The results of course will be there for all to see when these boys come through the system and compete for a place at the academy when they reach the eligible age to become full time cadets.
The local players will eventually guarantee to be have the game intelligence that can only be gained from being involved in a player development program consistently from the age of 6-8, develop the technical ability that makes them execute tactical visions into actions a lot quicker than most players would, superior game reading, competitiveness and ability to take on the physical load of a elite player development program.
The outfit also demanded that the ongoing JSA Football League were 80% of the players are from Adivasi and Dalit background should be given jobs in Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Timken, TRF on their performance.
Ramesh Mehta, senior vice-president, Jharkhand Football Association, said many local talents were inducted in the Academy based on their performance in the selection trial of TFA.
The activists lacked knowledge on the strict selection process of TFA, which picks up best talents from across the country including Jharkhand every two years, Mehta added.
Earlier, ACE had held a two-day dharna from August 4 in front of the TFA, but it has shifted its venue of dharna at the main entrance since last evening in support their demand.