I-League clubs pen letter to FIFA President as Indian football's turf war takes fresh twist
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
The letter has been undersigned by five top flight clubs.
The turf war in Indian football has taken yet another fresh twist, with the I-League clubs' association dispatching a letter addressed to FIFA President Gianni Infantino. Through the letter, the five-club gathering consisting of Kolkata giants East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Gokulam Kerala, Churchill Brothers and Aizawl FC, seeks the help of global football's apex body for the resolution of the cureent impasse in the domestic game.
In what is a twelve-page letter consisting of thirty-five points all concerning the alleged injutices against the I-League and Indian football, the document's been penned by Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj with the support of his peers. The letter has urged Infantino to intervene and points to the changing climate of the Indian game, which it claims threatens to destroy the I-League once and for all.
The prime focus of this letter is the deal which was made by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with IMG-R and Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) back in 2010. The alleged Master Rights Agreement (MRA) which was leaked by Bajaj on Twitter is a major talking point in the letter, trying to indicate how the AIFF “sold off” Indian football to a private entity.
Moreover, after the AIFF decided to effectively hand the Indian Super League (ISL) top league status by recommending to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to grant the AFC Champions League (ACL) spot to the league's winners, the letter claims the I-league itself was demoted to a second-tier status.
This move by the AIFF has also been put under the scanner in this letter, stating how wrong it was. Moreover, the “One Nation, One League” blueprint which was suggested by the AFC last year has been questioned in the letter, which also seeks to know what is in store in the future for the I-League clubs and the league itself, if such a plan goes through.
The association has also requested the FIFA chief to setup an enquiry into the matter and also help provide a better roadmap for the future of Indian football. The letter also threatened that if the AFC continues to remain silent on this issue, the I-League clubs will take the matter to the Court of Arbitration of Sport, if necessary.
Published: Mon Jul 22, 2019 06:35 PM IST