New Delhi: AIFF president Praful Patel feels football in India cannot succeed until the sport gets the much needed financial boost, and urged the FIFA to adopt a more commercial approach in running the game.

“No game is successful until there is money to support the game,” Mr. Patel said while asking the world governing body of the sport, FIFA, to work for the commercialisation of football.

“We want FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to adopt a more professional and commercial approach towards the sport, otherwise in the long term the game won’t sustain.

“Until the footballers are paid well, until the money comes into the game ... this cycle cannot complete,” he said on the sidelines of the release of a book on the Nagpur Premier League (NPL), launched last year.

Hailing the effort of Congress MP and Lokmat Media Chairman Vijay Darda for organising the league, Mr. Patel said Darda did a commendable job to take the game to the grass root level.

“I think what he has done is very commendable, this is what we need to do to take the game to the grass root level.

“This is the way we need to build Indian football right from the second and third level cities to the top because then only we can establish a solid foundation,” Mr. Patel said.

Mr. Patel also informed the media that the NPL, which was organised by Lokmat for the first time during last October, was based on the pattern of a cricket league with local corporate houses sponsoring the participating teams.