IPFCA- MEETING 1
IPFCA Meeting: 23rd July, 2013 : PRESS RELEASE PUNE FC AND MOHUN BAHAN
Mumbai: The I-League Professional Football Clubs Association (IPFCA) decided on a 6-member representation to meet the AIFF in response to their request for a meeting.
IPFCA'S response was to AIFF's letter dated 18th July, 2013. The IPFCA meeting was held at the Lotus Lounge, Mumbai on Tuesday.
The IPFCA, after its meeting, sent a letter to AIFF and set Wednesday (24th July, 2013) to meet the National body and IMG-Reliance representatives.
The six-member IPFCA representation is: Debabrata Sarkar (East Bengal), Debashish Dutta (Mohun Bagan), Mustafa Ghouse (Bengaluru FC), Valanka Alemao (Churchill Brothers), RAJ Gomes (Salgaocar FC) and Chirag Tanna (Pune FC).
The IPFCA agreed unanimously that there was still no clarity on the proposed IMG-Reliance tournament and preferred that there was some sort of open dialogue between all three parties, which so far has not been forthcoming.
The IPFCA members discussed that their teams needed to remain competitive during the break-period during the proposed tournament between mid-season break from January to March 2014.
The IPFCA unanimously decided to abide by the various decisions taken in the last IPFCA meeting held on 5th June, 2013.
In the post meeting press briefing, Pune FC owner Nandan Piramal expressed, "This is a very important phase in Indian football and the clubs showed their concern for the game with large attendance".
"We would like to AIFF (along with IMG-Reliance) as soon as possible and understand how the new tournament will benefit I-league clubs and domestic football."
"Players have begun to understand the importance of the I-League. They know how key it is to play football throughout the season to help their career."
"We (IPFCA) have come to a resolution that we will attend this meeting (AIFF meeting) through our six members of various clubs who have been nominated to represent the association."
"The main aim is to understand how this proposed tournament is actually going to benefit Indian football in the long run, how is it going to benefit the I-League and how it is going to benefit the I-League clubs.
There's been a lot of talk about this but nothing official to the clubs and the stakeholders of Indian football. The main aim is to understand the future and what do they look upon the future."
Churchill Brothers CEO, Valanka Alemao, said: "It is great that the clubs have come together. Now we have a one (unified) voice. We want to understand their (IMG-Reliance) plans and we will definitely meet them with an open mind. We need to focus on the I-League, and develop and improve football rather than spend time in some marketing gimmicks."
"We have being trying to get IMG-Reliance to talk to us however prior to the letter (AIFF) received last week we hadn't heard from them."
"Please don't take us for granted, you need to take our consent. Because you need to appreciate the fact that till date Indian football is alive because of the toil and sacrifice for decades of some/all the existing clubs."
"The serious challenge is how to improve Indian football and develop the I league which is the bedrock of Indian football. Even the captain of India (Sunil Chhetri) himself said that even a Messi cannot play in the National team with only 70 days of football."
The meeting was attended by the representatives of:
Kingfisher East Bengal - Shantiranjan Dasgupta (Director), Debabrata Sarkar (Director)
Mohammedan Sporting - Ishtiaque Ahmed (Hon Asst Gen. Secretary)
McDowell Mohun Bagan - Anjan Mitra (Managing Director), Debasish Dutta (Director)
Bengaluru FC - Mustafa Ghouse (CEO)
Mumbai FC - Atul Bagdamia (Deputy Vice President)
Churchill Brothers - Churchill Alemao (Owner), Valanka Alemao (CEO), Watson Fernandes (Media and Marketing Manager), Jovito Lopez
Dempo SC-Shrinivas Dempo (Chairman), Abhijit Patil (Marketing Manager)
Sporting Clube de Goa - Peter Vaz (President), Victor Fernandes (CEO)
Rangdajied United - Karsing Kurbah (Technical Advisor), Herman Rani (Hon. Advisor)
Salgaocar FC - Shivanand Salgaocar (President), RAJ Gomes (General Secretary)
Pune FC - Nandan Piramal (Owner), Chirag Tanna (Head Operations)
The representatives of Shillong Lajong FC, Mumbai Tigers and United Sports Club were not present, but gave their total support for all decisions taken at the meeting via email.