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AIFF hired astrologers for the team’s happiness: Team Insiders

Has astrology played a part in India’s national soccer team’s recent success at the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers? Well, it seems like the All India Football Federation (AIFF) have made an effort to align the stars.

It has come to light that AIFF spent Rs 16,000 on an astrology agency it hired to ‘motivate’ the national team which confirmed their place in the 24-team AFC Asian Cup final.

The team led by Sunil Chhteri led the group and qualified.

“A motivator for the national team was appointed before the Asian Cup. It later emerged that the company hired was an astrological company,” a team insider told PTI.

“Clearly, an astrologer was appointed to motivate the team. A huge payment of Rs 16 lakh was made,” the source claimed.

The astrological firm appears to have held three meetings with the Blue Tigers, but one player from Kolkata said, “At least I haven’t heard of it since I’ve been a latecomer to the team.” Sunando Dhar, acting general secretary of the AIFF, stood for Comments not available.

Former India goalkeeper Tanumoy Bose scoffed at the idea and lashed out at the AIFF for making a fool of themselves.

“At a time when the AIFF has repeatedly failed to run proper youth leagues and many prestigious tournaments have had to close, incidents like this will further tarnish the image of Indian football,” Bose told PTI.

He went on to say it was just a “smoke screen” as AIFF officials are fully able to use the money to sponsor their upcoming trips abroad.

“The CoA (which is running the show in AIFF following the suspension of President Praful Patel) needs to delve deeply into this horrific incident and find out who is all responsible. There are many scams waiting to see the light of day,” he added.

The Supreme Court last month appointed a three-person Committee of Administrators (CoA) to oversee AIFF’s affairs, ending Praful Patel’s long reign at the helm.

Black magic is nothing new in Indian football. A Delhi-based club once signed a Meerut native ‘Baba’ for an important league game and following his triumph, the team credited him for their success.

The side, led by Sunil Chhetri, recorded their best-ever Asian Cup campaign as the talismanic striker led from the front with four goals in three games to guide the national side to the finals.

India started the campaign with a 2-0 win over Cambodia, then secured a last-minute 2-1 win over Afghanistan before beating Hong Kong 4-0 to qualify as group winners.

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