AIFF I-LEAGUE 2016-17 NEWS

10th edition of the Hero I-League was launched
10th edition of the Hero I-League launched
27.12.2016 : As the 10th edition of the Hero I-League was launched at a glittering ceremony at a hotel in the National Capital, Mr. Praful Patel, President, All India Football Federation (AIFF), said: “The ten participating teams in the 10th edition of the Hero I-League are based from across the length and breadth of the Country. I thank Hero MotoCorp for their support to the I-League and Indian Football.

The League is the unifying factor for the Football fans in India as right from Aizwal FC in the North-East to Mumbai FC in Mumbai, and from Minerva City Punjab FC in Chandigarh to Chennai City FC in Chennai, the clubs represent pan India. The Hero I-League is the premiere league of the country through which teams participate in the AFC Cup and the AFC Champions League. I wish success to all the participating teams.”

Mr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, MD & CEO, Hero MotoCorp Ltd said: “Football has clearly become one of the most popular sports among youngsters in the country. As the Title Sponsor of all the marquee football tournaments in the country - Hero ISL, Hero I-League and Hero Federation Cup - Brand Hero has been the pioneer in popularising the game in India. With over 100 matches to be played by the 10 teams in the fray, the Hero I-League and Hero Federation Cup will certainly bring a lot of excitement for the fans, and contribute towards the long-term development of the game.”

Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF said: “The competitive spirit of the Hero I-League has been outstanding over the last few editions. The League witnessed a substantial increase of almost 40 percent in spectator attendance and here we are, prior to the kick-off of the 10th edition, expecting the graph to further go up.”

He further stated: “This edition, the League has a pan India presence. I wish luck to all the teams. May the best team come out as the winner of the Hero I-League. Hero Motocorp has been providing extensive support for the promotion of Indian Football and I thank them for their cooperation.”

The first game of the six-month long League will kick off on January 7 in Bengaluru with defending champions Bengaluru FC locking horns with Shillong Lajong FC.

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CHENNAI CITY AND MINERVA PANJAB INCLUDED IN THE I-LEAGUE 2016-17
CHENNAI CITY AND MINERVA PANJAB INCLUDED IN THE I-LEAGUE 2016-17

11.12.2016 : Two new Indian football clubs introduced to participate in the forth coming I league which will going to commence on and from the 7th of January 2017. In a meeting at the Football House, New Delhi, AIFF Bid Evaluation Committee evaluate the five bids submitted and finally decided to include CHENNAI CITY FC and MINERVA PANJAB FC to play in the I League.

The five football football clubs Neroca FC, Minerva Punjab FC, Sudeva FC, FC Bardez Goa & Chennai City FC submit their credentials for evaluation. The bid committee finally grant Chennai City FC & Minerva Punjab FC the right to field their teams in I-League season 2016-17.

While interacting the AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said, "I on the behalf of AIFF, welcome Chennai City FC & Minerva Punjab FC to the I-League family and we all hope that we will have a competitive I-League. "With Chennai City FC & Minerva Punjab FC joining the fray now, we have ten teams competing in the next I-League. Now, we have representatives from Chennai and Punjab, which means we'll reach out to more supporters and newer markets." The I league CEO Sunanda Dhar expressed his satisfaction as he said, "Yes, of course, I'm happy New teams from two new venues will add a newer dimension to I-League and they will get a chance to rub shoulders with the top clubs of Indian Football".

CHENNAI CITY AND MINERVA PANJAB INCLUDED IN THE I-LEAGUE 2016-17
Bengaluru FC-Mohun Bagan-East Bengal-Mumbai FC-Shillong Lajong-DSK Shivajians-Aizwal FC-Churchill Brothers-Minerva Punjab FC-Chennai City FC
Now the I league comprises of ten football clubs as Churchill Brothers allowed by AIFF to enter the the league once again. When the three Goan clubs Salgaocar SC, Dempo Sports Club and Sporting Clube quits from the I League due to various reason, the inclusion of Chenniyian FC, Minerva Panjab FC and Churchill Brothers likely to be competetive and attractive.

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24.06.2016: All India Football Federation were shocked to know the decision of Salgaocar SC and Sporting Clube from I League. In a Press Release, AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das said: “We along with our Marketing partners have been very transparent sharing our thoughts with all stakeholders regarding the way forward for Indian Football. It was clearly stated that the shared draft was only a proposal ad we would like suggestions from various stakeholders.

AIFF SURPRISED AT THE DECISION OF THE GOAN CLUBS
EAST BENGAL MOHUN BAGAN OFFICIALS EXPRESSED THEIR ANGER

24.06.2016: All India Football Federation were shocked to know the decision of Salgaocar SC and Sporting Clube from I League. In a Press Release, AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das said: “We along with our Marketing partners have been very transparent sharing our thoughts with all stakeholders regarding the way forward for Indian Football. It was clearly stated that the shared draft was only a proposal ad we would like suggestions from various stakeholders.

The AIFF has been receiving various suggestions and the last one was received only a week back.Since it involves setting the road map for Indian Football every aspect needs to be carefully considered. So the assumption made by the Clubs that AIFF has not responded is presumptuous and speculative."

He also added that while “there is no denying the contribution made by the Clubs who have been associated with Indian Football for a long time, it was also evident that they were unable to create fan base to sustain themselves.”

“The purpose of the proposal was to enable Clubs to create a sustainable model for the future which has unfortunately been wrongly interpreted by some of the Clubs,” he further stated.

Reacting to the allegations of the Clubs about financial matters, Mr. Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League said: “The amount for fielding age-group sides in the respective competitions of AIFF which were pending since 2008, was agreed in an I-League committee meeting that the same would be adjusted against the I-League participation fees. This has been in practice for the last 3-4 years.”

Meanwhile at Kolkata, the officials of East Bengal and Mohun Bagan expressed their anger after two I League playing Goan clubs decided to quit from the top tier competition of the country. Mohun Bagan General Secretary Anjan Mitra said that all the state associations should seat in an urgent meeting regarding the issue.He said that he may opt for legal advices if this problem persists. Anjan Mitra added the day as a 'BLACK DAY' in Indian football.

East Bengal secretary Kalyan Majumdar feels that there is hardly anything left in the I League. He said who will play the league now.......It's another nail in the coffin of Indian football.

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AIFF TO INTRODUCE 'INDIAN SUPER CUP' & 'CHAMPIONS CUP'

17.05.16: The AIFF after an important meeting at New Delhi is now all set to introduce Indian Super Cup in place of Federation Cup from 2017-18 football season. The representatives of 29 clubs from the ISL franchisee and the I League playing clubs were present at the meeting.

The top four teams from I League and top four team from ISL will participate in the new tournament, Indian Super Cup. The champion and runners up of the Indian Super Cup will participate in the AFC Cup. The AIFF football calendar will start from September and end at March and within the said period all the three tournaments I League, Indian Super League and Indian Super Cup will be organised. Though the new format of the new tournament and the number of participating teams in both the leagues are yet to be decided. The footballers will have to decide now where they will play - I League or ISL.

It is expected that two new teams will join in the ISL from two different cities where they will be no relegation. Whereas, I League will have relegation as usual. The I league will be in three divisions as I League Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3. from 2017-18 season.

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AIFF'S PROPOSED CALENDER FROM 2018

August : Champions Cup

September – March : ISL,I League 1 and I League 2 [November – February : Women’s League] April – May : Super Cup

It will be a big challenge for the I League playing clubs to compete with the ISL clubs. The I league playing clubs are generally a low budget (10-15 Crore)clubs , whereas the ISL franchisees are a high budget( 40 crore) clubs though they are yet to create a fan base. Even many I league playing clubs are still in search of a good sponcer since several years.

The new Super Cup can see three teams from Kolkata if they qualify - East Bengal and Mohun Bagan who are dominating Indian football for years, created history almost in all the tournaments they played with a strong fan base world wide and the newly introduced team of ISL Atletico De Kolkata who are yet to create it's fan base and dominance in Indian football.

A new international invitational football tournament will be introduced by AIFF where six countries will participate alike Nehru Gold Cup football tournament. This tournament will be organized every year at the start of the season.

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