26.11.2016 : The top tier football tournament of India, I league will going to kick off on and from the second week of January. The football clubs are busy in organizing their teams though Sporting Clube and Dempo Sports Club of Goa will not going to participate in the I League following some controversies.

Meanwhile , two time champions of I league, Churchill Brothers of Goa may be one of the new club to be included in the forth coming I league. Churchill Bothers were forced to quit in 2014 as they failed to fulfill the AFC's Club licensing criteria. Churchill Brothers appealed to the court following the decision of AIFF. But, recently after a fruit full discussion between AIFF and Alemao Churchill, the Goan club are now waiting for the permission of Court for their return in the forthcoming I League.

The Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are in final phase of signing their footballers. The Indian international Jeje Lalpeklua are in the eyes of both the teams.It is likely that the striker from Mizoram will opt to sign for Mohun Bagan as he is in a regular contract with some of the top ranking officials. In the meanwhile East Bengal are in discussion with Balwant Singh who was irregular in the last season following an injury. After the inclusion of the Haitain star Wedson, East Bengal confirms the joining of Robin Singh who is currently in thesquad of FC Goa.

The Haitian international Sony Nordi are in the eyes of Bangaluru FC though his agent are in continuous touch with the Mohun bagan officials.Sources said that the Red and Gold officials are also in touch with the Haitian star. East Bengal are in search of a central defender after Calam Angus was released . The central defender of Delhi Dynamos and Pune FC, Anas Edathodika are in the radar of Red and Gold officials. Sources said that Anas demanded an exorbitant payment which is much more than the budget of the club.


22.11.2016: Sporting Clube De Goa,decides to quit from I league following the new proposed road map of All India Football Federation and their marketing partner IMG Reliance. In a Press Release today, the Goan Club Sporting Clube confirms their withdrawal from I League.

PRESS RELEASE OF SPORTING CLUBE : Following strong objections to the Road Map for Indian Football as proposed by AIFF and their marketing partners on 17th May, 2016, Sporting Clube de Goa along with fellow goan Club Salgoacar F.C, after several rounds of deliberations, had taken the painful decision to withdraw from the forthcoming edition of the I League.

After our decision to pull out was announced on 23rd June, 2016 AIFF swung into damage control mode and General Secretary Kushal Das, I League CEO Sunando Dhar along with Chirag Tanna representing IMG-Reliance had dashed down to Goa and met the representatives of Goan clubs which also included Dempo S.C.

At this meeting AIFF General Secretary assured to call a meeting of all I League clubs, consult the AIFF President and Executive Committee and also their marketing partners IMG Reliance and revert back with a final binding proposal on or before 31st July, 2016.

After the above meeting, nothing was heard in matter from AIFF till an Executive Committee of AIFF decided, on 28th July, 2016, to form a Small Working Committee to speak to all stake holders and then decide on restructuring of Club Football in India. As to which stakeholders this committee spoke to we are not aware.

Our Club and another I League club Mumbai F.C took the bold step to write to FIFA and AFC expressing their concerns with regards to the state and direction of football in India. This prompted AFC to form a Task Force to assist AIFF in preparation of a road map for India Football. FIFA President Giovanni Infantino and AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa along with Secretary Dato John Windsor descended on Goa at the end of September to attend the Extra Ordinary Congress of AFC, and made all the right noises.

The Task Force consisting of high ranking officials of AFC, AIFF and IMG-Reliance also had its first meeting in Goa on 27th September, 2016. We are in the dark as to what transpired at this meeting, as sadly there was no representative of any I League club there, which fact itself tells its own story.

In the meantime AIFF President Praful Patel kept on tomtoming that the Road Map for the future of Indian Football is only a work in progress and that I League is the main league of the country. All this time we at Sporting Clube clung to the hope that following the statements coming from the Presidents of FIFA, AFC and our own AIFF, and following our representation to FIFA and AFC, a fresh Road Map which did not envisage the forced demotion of the I League teams, would be announced well in time to allow us to field our team in the forthcoming I League. With that hope, we even participated in the Club Licencing process and secured our National Licence.

But we now realize that all our hopes have been belied. At the book launch function of Saji Prabhakaran�s book �Back to the Roots� recently in Delhi AIFF President Praful Patel made the following statement �We (the AIFF) have set the cat among the pigeons�. One knows very well what happens when the cat is set amongst the pigeons. This statement is a pointer to the thought process of AIFF as to the future course of India Football and leaves us with no other option but confirm our withdrawal from the I League.

However please note importantly, that this is only a tactical decision to stay out of the I League, till AIFF gets it Road Map right and Sporting Clube will continue with all other football activities like Grassroots and Youth Football development and also maintain a strong first team to compete in Goa as well as in All India Football Tournaments.