New Delhi : With injuries a major cause for concern, the Football Player's Association of India (FPAI) is to propose a health insurance scheme be introduced ahead of the inaugural Professional League in October.
The FPAI will put the proposal before the All India Football Federation (AIFF) next week, said its chief executive Sumit Mukherjee.
"Injury is a big problem for the players in the middle of the season. Both the clubs and the players face a major loss if a footballer gets injured in the middle of the season," Mukherjee told IANS on the phone from Kolkata.
"We will write to the AIFF next week to make insurance mandatory for all the players taking part in the Professional League," he added.
According to Mukherjee, there have been cases in the past where clubs have refused to pay their injured players during the period they took to recover. He said if an insurance scheme was in place, such incidents could be avoided.
"We are looking forward to professionalise Indian football. And I think basic things like having an insurance policy for the players can be one of the few steps towards a professional set-up in the country," he said.
"The insurance plan would cover treatment for the players in the best possible hospital in the country. I have already started speaking to some of the insurance companies, and hopefully the AIFF will agree to our proposal."
Mukherjee, a former Indian goalkeeper, also said that not just the clubs playing in the Professional League but other players taking part in the second division and third division league will also come under the insurance system if the AIFF agrees.
The Professional League is a revamped version of the National Football League, which involves the top 10 clubs of the country.
"We will have around 1,000 players in the Professional League, the second division and third division league. It would be easy to get a group policy of all the players through one company," he said.
When asked who would bear the premium of the insurance, Mukherjee said: "Players can bear 25-30 percent of the premium, and the rest could be borne by the respective clubs and the parent body (AIFF)."