As a sports journalist, coming across hordes of players and teams and having seen them struggling, where a little bit of extra money could do wonders, has been a common sight.
No wonder it is a firm belief that any kind of sponsorship was welcome; be it gambling firms or cigarette companies or breweries.
So when a herbal aphrodisiac company – that is as polite as it can get – decides to fund a Goan club for three years in one of the biggest deals in the neglected sport of football in India, there shouldn’t be any grounds to complain on morality issues.
But then imagine the plight of the players on the ground. Apart from facing the smirks of all people on and off the field, there will be an every-day situation where the team is losing, playing badly or plainly an individual player is having a bad day at work or simply has a fall on the ground.
The first jeers from rival team supporters will be ‘What happened, did you lose steam?… Don’t have the strength to get
Maybe the team will handle it, let us hope for the best. But what if it leads to brawls and fights among the stands. It will take one Inzamam ul-Haq like player to bash up a provocative supporter and certainly not the advertisement in a sport where fan behaviour is the most suspect.
History has it that any sponsorship related to sex doesn’t have a future, even in cricket, and certainly not much should be expected in a country where the three-letter word has scary proportions.
So it is worth noting how much of input was taken from the players, management and also the football federation AIFF.