The Tamil Nadu football team left Chennai on Thursday night for Siliguri, venue for the final round of the Santosh Trophy National championship, amid confusion.

Just 10 out of the contingent of 26, including officials, had proper reservations and the rest had either waitlisted or RAC tickets in hand and all in ordinary second class sleeper coaches.

This is the way the travel has been organised for the South Zone champion, where as the Kerala team has arranged its travel by AC II tier.

The Chennai Egmore-Dibrugarh Express was so packed that it is likely to have affected the players by the time they finally reach Siliguri, a 36-hour journey from here.

But then this is what can happen when the State Association does not use professionals for reservations but asks the team to take care of its arrangements. It is understood that one of the team officials had to do all the running around to book tickets, all at the last minute.

The difference

KFA General Secretary P. Anil Kumar said the association had directly handled the Kerala team’s bookings. “The booking was done up to Santragachi,” he said.

“From there to Siliguri, some of them have not got confirmed seats, it is still in RAC. Anyhow, I’ve told them that if they are unable to get confirmed seats, they can take an AC Volvo bus and proceed.”

In a way this is not a surprise. The Kerala Santosh Trophy team is sponsored by Ramco Cements. The KFA and Ramco Cements had signed a Rs. 1 crore deal recently under which Ramco Cements sponsors many of KFA’s programmes.

Tamil Nadu may be a better team but there is nobody to sponsor it! — With inputs from our Kochi Special Correspondent

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