News Article

I-league clubs fight it out as AIFF and IMG-R smile in horizon

Written by: Punit Tripathi

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The real discussions of the meeting between AIFF and I-league revealed.

Representatives of I-league clubs and AIFF met at Delhi on 29th June, Thursday evening to discuss the plans for the upcoming season. In a report already shared by Khel Now, we highlighted the details shared by the AIFF and the demands forwarded by the clubs to the football governing body, which circulated around the broadcast being shifted from Ten to the Star Network and scraping the four-foreigner rule and changing it to five.

I-league clubs to AIFF: League must broadcast on Star Network

Coming to the real story, there was another meeting only amongst club officials before the AIFF meeting, held at New Delhi on Thursday afternoon. In this meeting, the officials discussed that away-games’ subsidy should be increased by at least 15 lakh per game. Also, proper marketing and promotional plans were discussed.

According to sources present at the meeting, Khel Now can confirm that Kolkata clubs changed everything discussed in the first meeting and instead, concentrated on the five-foreigner rule. A club official told Khel Now, “Kolkata clubs want to hijack the I-league. They know that other clubs will fall behind in terms of ability to pay the foreigners and by buying five Sony Nordes, they will easily coast to the league victory.”

Khel Now sources have revealed that only Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Churchill Brothers have supported the same and this topic took most of the time of the panel. No official from Shillong Lajong Football Club took part in the meeting.

Kolkata clubs, in the meeting, said they want to compete with the ISL and thus, need to sign more foreigners. DSK Shivajians, which was reportedly planning to shut down its first-team operations, said in the same context that they’ll play with all Indian players and mocked the panel saying, ‘You can also allow the participation of eight foreigners, like them, to compete with ISL.’

The official in the above-mentioned context also told us that three clubs have come forward with the wish to participate in the upcoming season of the I-league. He also said that he had never seen such camaraderie in the Kolkata clubs before, something which bemused and shocked him equally.

Khel Now sources have also informed that AIFF will now improve the away match subsidy to 50 lakh per-game, a hike of 5 lakh. It needs to be mentioned that with better financial ability, Kolkata clubs will be able to pay the foreigners and will have more advantage over the other competing things from the onset.

Published: Thu Jun 29, 2017 07:05 PM IST

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