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INDIA FOOTBALL NEWS - JUNE 2017 :: NEWS GALLERY - YEAR (2013-2017)

8 COACHES PASSED IN AFC "B" LICENSE COURSE HELD IN GOA APRIL 10-30 2017.
24.06.2017 : AIFF PRESS RELEASE : The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced the result of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) organized AFC B License Course in Goa from April 10-30, 2017, which was conducted by AIFF’s Technical Director Savio Medeira.

20 candidates attended the AFC B License Course but only eight were able to pass, while 2 candidates were pro-passed. The list of the pass and pro-pass candidates follows below:

PASSED: Ishfaq Ahmed, Joyner Eulogius Antao, Jatin Singh Bedi, MK Candid MAring, Prashant Pardeep Paradkar, Shameel Chembakath, Ramesh Gangaram Bista, Gopal Badrilal Kag.

PRO-PASSED: Venkatesh Shanmugam, Bijoy Kumar Ghosh.

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I OWE MY CAREER TO MY FATHER – LATIFUDDIN NAJAM : LATIFUDDIN
23.06.2017 : MSC PRESS RELEASE : Latifuddin Najam, the son of 1952 Helsinki Olympian Syed Khaja Moinuddin, was one of the most skilled players ever to step foot in Kolkata maidans. The Hyderabadi winger who helped the club to win many accolades during his 10-year-long stint, was conferred with Shan-e-Mohammedan (Lifetime Achievement Award) during club’s Iftar Party held at Haj House in Park Circus, Kolkata this evening.

INTERVIEW WITH LATIFUDDIN BY MSC MEDIA

QUESTION : First of all congratulations on getting the Shan-e-Mohammedan. You have won many trophies in your career, but when you got this award, how much does it mean to you?

Latifuddin Najam : It is a great feeling that your services to the club have been recognized. I have always played for passion, and it was such a pleasure and joy to be able to do what I did. I never think of any awards while playing, but today I felt honored to receive this award from Mohammedan Sporting Club. I wish this award will serve as an inspiration to the younger generation to do their best for the club.

QUESTION : Let’s go back to the beginning of Latifuddin. How did you get into football?

Latifuddin Najam : To be honest I never truly believed that I would become a professional footballer when I first began to play as a child. I played the game because I loved it. When I realized that it was going to be my future, I started to practice more and playing seriously.

QUESTION : You are of course a role model to many around the country, but even a great footballer like yourself must have had a role model?

Latifuddin Najam : My inspiration, role model whatever you want to call, has always been my father (Syed Khaja Moinuddin). He was one of the faces of Hyderabad football as well as Indian football, that many aspiring footballers looked up to for inspiration. I always spent time following him. He was my first coach and he taught me everything I know. I owe my career to my father. He always used to tell me whatever you do be honest with it. I think I have made him proud along the way.

QUESTION : Who were some of your playing mates when you made your Mohammedan Sporting Club debut and how difficult was it getting into the team?

Latifuddin Najam : I first joined Mohammedan Sporting Club in 1970. I was 17 years old at the time and the players like Peter Thangaraj, Syed Nayeemuddin, Mohammad Habib, Sadatullah Khan, Syed Lateefuddin (Senior), Sardar Khan were there in the team. It was extremely difficult getting into the side as some of all time greats in Indian football were already there, but I patiently waited for my turn and when it came I grabbed it with both hands.

QUESTION : You were one of the most consistent players for Mohammedan Sporting Club during your stay. How difficult has it been to maintain consistency for such a long time?

Latifuddin Najam : It has been very difficult, this world is full of up’s and downs. There were many challenges along the way but with almighty Allah on your side, things worked out for me. I felt like I had divine help whenever I faced setbacks.

QUESTION : What are the high and low points of your career?

Latifuddin Najam : My highest points was me scoring the equalizing goal for India in the final of 1974 Asian Junior Championship. Going into the final against Iran, not many people gave us a chance but we had self belief and fought hard to earn a 2-2 draw and crowned joint winners.

I don’t think there was any low points in my career. However, there were some moments when I felt disappointed. One of them was not being able to win the Calcutta Football League for Mohammedan Sporting Club in 1975. I thought we had the best team that year and all of us were in good form but one bad match finished it all.

QUESTION : What do you think the reason behind Hyderabad football’s decline?

Latifuddin Najam : I think there are a lot of issues tied in there. We have administrative problems in Hyderabad football. Even players themselves may not be as focused as they should be. I suppose complacency would be a factor as well as the fact that we thought because we have always produced great players over the years, we don’t have to do much and they will keep turning up and by the time we realized that it’s not so easy, we were already on our way down the ladder. Hyderabad football have been the architect of it’s own decline, we really can’t blame anybody else.

QUESTION : What do you think of Indian Super League (ISL), what effect has ISL had on Indian football?

Latifuddin Najam : It has helped in many areas. It has given a lot of young players an opportunity to play against or with some of the top foreign players. It is a good innovation for Indian football because not only it bring new players in but it also bringing people back to Indian football.

QUESTION : You have brought great entertainment to fans all over the country for many years and we thank you for that and also for your time today in doing this interview.

Latifuddin Najam : My pleasure and many thanks to all of your readers and my fans for all the support and well wishes over the years.
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"OUR AIM IS TO QUALIFY FOR 2018 AFC U-23 CHAMPIONSHIPS " : CONSTANTINE
19.06.2017 : AIFF PRESS RELEASE : The final preparatory camp ahead of the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers kicked-off under National Coach Stephen Constantine at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on Monday (June 19, 2017). 34 players have been summoned for the Camp which will continue untilJuly 1, 2017 before the team departs for an exposure trip to the USA.

The list of players attending the camp is as follows:

GOALKEEPERS : Vishal Kaith, Sukhadev Shivaji Patil, Kamaljit Singh, Phurba Tempa Lechenpa.

DEFENDERS : Nishu Kumar, Lalramchullova, Chinglensana Singh Konsham, Salam Ranjan Singh, Sarthak Golui, Sairuatkima, Lalruatthara, Nitesh Deepak Aswani, Subhasish Bose, Jerry Lalrinzuala.

MIDFIELDERS : Nikhil Poojary, Raynier Raymond Fernandes, Isaac Vanmalsawma Chhakchhuak, Germanpreet Singh, Vinit Rai, Mawihmingthanga, Asharudeen Pulparamban, Saurabh Das, Enestar Malngiang, Robinson Singh Khumukcham, Vignesh Dakshina Murthy, Chesterpoul Lyngdoh, Lallianzuala Chhangte.

FORWARDS : Hitesh Sharma, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Anto Xavier, Alen Deory, Manvir Singh, Azharuddin Mullick.

Besides players playing in the Hero I-League, Constantine has also called two players from the U-22 trials, players for which were scouted by the AIFF scouting network led by Executive Committee member Abhishek Yadav. Yadav and his team had selected players from inter-university championships, inter-college tournaments, Santosh Trophy, Second Division League, Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) as well as the overseas scouting programme.

India are slated to face Syria, Turkmenistan and Qatar in Group C of 2018 AFC U-18 Championship Qualifiers which are scheduled from July 19, 2017 to July 23, 2017 in Doha, Qatar. “Our aim is to qualify for the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship. The qualifiers are in a month's time and hence, we can't just sit back and ponder over,” Constantine maintained. “New Delhi is the ideal venue to get acclimatised to the current weather of Qatar. Our focus was on working in the similar conditions to Qatar,” he added.

AIFF has also organised for an exposure Tour for the squad to the USA which Constantine believes will “come in handy.” “We are scheduled to go on an exposure trip to California early next month. We'll play three or possibly four competitive matches against some club age-group teams and senior teams which will definitely come handy before we face Qatar, Syria and Turkmenistan in the Qualifiers,” Constantine mentioned.

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IFAB technical director and former Premier League referee David Elleray intends to make football more "fair" and "attractive".
17.06.2017 : SOURCE : IFAB WEBSITE : International Football Association Board (IFAB) by technical director and former Premier League referee David Elleray intends to make football more "fair" and "attractive".

The strategy for 2017-2022 consists several changes mainly in three areas –

* 1) Improving players behavior and increasing respect
* 2) Increasing playing time
* 3) Increasing fairness and attractiveness

Each proposal is at one of three stages:–
* 1) No Law change needed - could be implemented immediately
* 2) Ready for testing/experiments
* 3) For discussion

PART-1 : Improving players behavior and increasing respect
The behaviour of players and team officials (especially coaches) must improve and more respect must be shown for the ‘spirit’ and letter of the Laws and for the referees who apply them. There are many ways in which behaviour can be improved and respect increased:

No Law change needed – could be implemented immediately
Increased responsibility for the captain:
* 1. the main point of communication with/for the referee
* 2. only player allowed to approach the referee in a controversial situation
* 3. help the referee to calm flashpoint situation/player(s) In addition,

The IFAB & FIFA will consider producing a Captains’ Code of Responsibilities and establish ways to consult national team captains about initiatives and ideas.

Ready for testing/experiments :: ‘Mobbing/surrounding’ match officials:
Possible sanctions
* 1. referees to deal more strongly with players who ‘mob’ the referee/assistant referee i.e. more use of cautions (YCs)
* 2. only the captain can approach the referee (or other match officials) to when a decision is ‘controversial’
* 3. fines or points deduction for a team guilty of ‘mobbing’

Red and yellow card for coaches/team officials – red card (RC) or yellow card (YC) for poor behaviour by a coach or other team official so it is clear when the referee has taken disciplinary action, rather than having warned the official.

For discussion
Pre-match handshake – referee goes to the technical areas just before kick-off and the two coaches and referee shake hands together as a sign of respect.
Red card for substitute – if a substitute receives a red card then the maximum number of substitutes the team can use for the remainder of the match is reduced by one (if the team has already used all substitutes then potentially one less substitution in next game).

Incresing Playing Time:
No Law change needed – could be implemented immediately

Stricter calculation of ‘additional time’ – when additional time is indicated, the 4th official most commonly shows ‘1’ minute at the end of the 1st half and ‘3’ minutes at the end of the 2nd half, but the amount of time ‘lost’ through stoppages is often much more. Referees should be required to be much stricter in calculating additional time, by stopping their watch as follows:
* 1. penalty kick – from the penalty award until the kick has been taken
* 2. goal – from the goal being scored until the kick-off
* 3. injury – from the referee asking the player if attention is required until play restarts
* 4. red and yellow cards – from the referee showing the card until play restarts
* 5. substitution – from the referee’s signal for a substitution until play restarts
* 6. 9.15m – from the moment the referee starts to pace 9.15m (or uses the spray for the positon of the ball) until the signal is given to take the free kick
* 7. Goalkeeper holding the ball – referees to apply the 6 seconds Law strictly
Ready for testing/experiments Substitutions – much time is ‘lost’ – often deliberately – by a player who is being substituted slowly walking towards the halfway line. As an injured player must leave the field at the nearest boundary line, this could apply to a player being substituted (unless there are security issues identified by the referee) as the Law does not require the player to leave at the halfway line. For discussion
* 1. Effective playing time – clock stops every time the ball is out of play – one potential method of increasing playing time is to stop the watch/clock every time play stops and re-start it when play begins i.e. effective playing time (EPT). This could be applied in a variety of ways with the clock/watch being stopped every time play stops for:
* 1. the last 5 minutes of the 1st half and the last 10 minutes of the 2nd half (same during extra time) – these are the periods of the match when the players are most likely to ‘waste time’
* 2. the whole game – this would involve determining that a match would consist of two periods of (for example) 30 minutes EPT. Such a radical change would not only mean that there would be less point in players wasting time but would also mean that in a competition every club would play exactly the same amount of EPT.
* 2. Stadium clocks – where a stadium has a clock visible to the spectators, the time could be shown on the clock and whenever the referee ‘stops the watch’ the stadium clock also stops by a direct link to the referee’s watch or by an official who controls the clock and is in contact with the referee. In addition, the stadium clock could show the additional time being played and not be stopped at 45 and 90 minutes.
* 3. ‘Self-passing’ at a free kick, corner kick and goal kick – why is a player not allowed to touch the ball a second time after a free kick, goal kick, corner kick (or penalty?) until someone else has touched it? Football already enjoys/encourages the ‘quick’ free kick but this could be even better if the ‘fouled’ player could play the ball more than once – it would encourage attacking play as the player who is fouled can, for example, stop the ball and then immediately continue their dribble/attacking move and could ‘speed up’ the game. Historically, in the ancient game of Harrow Football, the fouled player could carry on dribbling and this was allowed in the original 1863 Laws of the Game.
* 4. Moving ball at goal kick – remove the requirement for ball to be stationary at goal kick as there is no major advantage if it is moving but referee ordering a re-take for a ball which is slightly moving annoys people and wastes more time.
* 5. Goal kick position – the goal kick must be taken at the same side of goal area that the ball left the field; this would stop time-wasting e.g. where ball goes out on one side of the goal and goalkeeper walks slowly to take the kick on the other side of the goal area

Increasing Fairness and attractiveness: :: Ready for testing/experiments

A different order of kickers for kicks from the penalty mark (penalties) – some studies suggest that the team that takes the ‘first’ kick in kicks from the penalty mark has a built-in advantage primarily because there is greater mental pressure on the second kicker (in each round) who often faces instant elimination if they miss their kick (especially once the first four kicks for each team have been completed).
* A “tennis tie-break” system where the ‘first kicker’ alternates could be fairer:
* 1st kick Team A 2nd kick Team B
* 3rd kick Team B 4th kick Team A
* 5th kick Team A 6th kick Team B
* 7th kick Team B 8th kick Team A
* 9th kick Team A 10th kick Team B
* 11th kick Team B 12th kick Team A and so on?…
(other systems/orders may be permitted during the experiments)

Goal kicks and defending free kicks in the penalty area: defenders can play ball before it leaves the penalty area – opponents must be 9.15?m at a free kick but the ball does not have to travel 9.15?m before it is in play. However, for goal kicks and defensive free kicks in the penalty area the ball must leave the penalty area before it is in play; if anyone plays the ball before this there is no sanction: the free kick/goal kick is retaken so it can become a time-wasting tactic.

Allowing defending players (including the goalkeeper) to play the ball inside the penalty area once the free kick/goal kick has been taken (the opponents must remain outside the penalty area until the kick is taken) can speed up the game, stop time-wasting and may lead to a more constructive/controlled restart rather than the current ‘long kick’

For discussion

* 1. Handball – one of the most ‘difficult’ areas of football is handball and the game would benefit from a clearer and more consistent definition and interpretation of handball.
In addition, there are aspects of handball where changes could make the game fairer:
* 1. a player who deliberate scores a goal with the hands should be punished with a sending-off (red card) in the same way that a player who stops a goal with the hands is sent off
* 2. a goalkeeper who handles a deliberate pass or throw-in from a team mate should be penalised with a penalty and not an indirect free kick (and the appropriate disciplinary sanction)
* 3. the referee should be able to award a goal if a defender stops a goal being scored by handling the ball on (or very close to) the goal line
* 2. Half-time and full-time whistle: only blown when ball out of play – sometimes the referee blows the whistle for the end of the 1st or 2nd half just as a shot is going into the goal or a team has a promising attack/scoring opportunity. To remove this controversy and create more excitement, the Law could be changed so that the referee can only end the 1st or 2nd half when the ball is out of play.
This could give an attacking team the incentive to keep the ball in play and try to create a goal-scoring opportunity and should save referees from the error/embarrassment of blowing for ‘time’ as a shot is going into the goal.
3* . Penalty kick – same restrictions as a kick from the penalty mark so the only outcomes are a goal or no goal(to stop encroachment etc.) – at most penalty kicks, players from both teams enter the penalty area before the kick which annoys people as referees rarely punish them, often because their focus is on the kicker and goalkeeper.
This problem could be removed by making every penalty kick a ‘kick from the penalty mark’ i.e. the kicker either scores or it is missed/saved. If the kick is not successful, the referee would stop play and award a goal kick.
There would thus be no need for players to crowd on the edge of the penalty area ready to run in early. To discourage them further, if an attacking player enters the penalty area before the penalty kick is taken the kick is ‘missed’; if a defending player does the same and the kick is missed/saved it is retaken
The strategy document, called Play Fair, will be discussed over the next few months, before the 2018 IFAB annual general meeting in March, which will decide which proposals should be trialled in competitive matches.
"The underlying philosophy of 'Play Fair' is a call to the conscience of everyone involved in football," said a statement on the IFAB website.

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Mohammedan Sporting Club to confer Shan-e-Mohammedan on Latifuddin Najam

16.06.2017 : MSC PRESS RELEASE : The Executive Committee of Mohammedan Sporting Club has unanimously decided to confer the prestigious Shan-e-Mohammedan on legendary Indian footballer Jb. Latifuddin Najam, who will be feted at club's Iftar Party on June 23, 2017 at Mohammedan Sporting Club Ground.

The Shan-e-Mohammedan is the Lifetime Achievement Award of Mohammedan Sporting Club, which is awarded annually to respect and laud indispensable contribution of football players to the 126-year-old club. Latifuddin, the son of 1952 Helsinki Olympian Jb. Syed Khaja Moinuddin, was a useful winger who could play on both flanks. Latifuddin began his career at Andhra Pradesh Police Team before moving to Kolkata in 1970 with Mohammedan Sporting Club.

Having spent a couple of seasons at Mohammedan Sporting Club, Latifuddin switched his allegiance to East Bengal in 1972. However, he returned to Mohammedan Sporting Club very next year and stayed till 1980.During his second spell with Mohammedan Sporting Club, he formed a lethal strike force with the likes of Mohammed Habib, Mir Sajjad and Mohammed Akbar, that helped the Black Panthers to win many accolades in 70s.

In 1981, Latifuddin again joined East Bengal before returning to Mohammedan Sporting Club for one last time in his career in 1982.Latifuddin has bacame the top scorer in 1976 Calcutta Football League with 22 goals, a feat that has only achieved by 11 other Mohammedan Sporting Club footballers since the inception of Calcutta Football League in 1898.

The Hyderabadi has also enjoyed a lot of success in his international career. He was a prominent member of the India junior team that were joint winners of the 1974 AFC U-19 Championship in Thailand, which was known as Asian Junior Championship then.

Latifuddin scored a goal in the final which ended in a 2-2 draw against Iran and both teams were declared as joint winners. He was also a part of the senior India team in 1974 Mardeka Cup, where he scored against Indonesia in a match which India lost in tie-breaker.

"When I started playing I just wanted be like my father. He was my idol, he always used to tell me whatever you do in your life do with honesty. I think I have him proud along the way." Latifuddin told mohammedansportingindia.com from Hyderabad. "I played the game for passion and never think of any awards but today I felt honoured to recieve this award from a club which is closest to my heart." he added.

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7 MINERVANS SELECTED FOR INDIA U-23 TEAM FOR AFC CUP QUALIFIERS
16.06.2017 - MPFC Press Release : Seven Minervans have been selected for the India U-23 Squad for the AFC Cup 2018 Qualifiers to held at Qatar form 15th to 24th July 2017.

Five Minervans, namely Kamaljit Singh, Kalampreet Singh, Vinit Rai, Girik Khosla and Germanpreet Singh were selected after after their superb performance in the debut season of Minerva Punjab FC in the Hero I-League. Two past Minervans namely Sukhdev Patil and Manvir Singh who were part of Minerva Punjab FC Youth Development Program and U-18 I-league Squad & 2nd Division Squad respectively in the 2015-16 season.

Minerva Punjab FC is the only club from North India to be participating in the top tier of Indian Football i.e. Hero I-leagaue and was set up with the mission to give local talent a platform to perform and get recognised on the national stage. CEO and Owner, Ranjit Bajaj was thrilled by the selection of the boys and beamed with pride when he said, "I am thrilled that 7 Minervans will be seen in the 2018 AFC Cup in India Colours, this was the dream and I am glad we are realising it, we are giving local boys a chance to get into the express lane."

The probables have been called to New Delhi for the training camp to be held at Dr. Ambedkar Stadium from 17th June to 1st July 2017. The squad is then scheduled for an exposure trip to USA for practice matches and training prior to reaching Qatar for the AFC Cup Qualifiers.

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13.06.2017: Mohun Bagan Press Release : Resignation Letter of Mohun Bagan President Swapan Sadhan Basu ( TUTU)

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SHILLONG LAJONG SIGN U15 LOCAL BOYS
11.06.2017: SLFC PRESS RELEASE : Shillong 11th June: Shillong Lajong Football Club is pleased to announce the long term agreement between the Club and 10 local boys from the Meghalaya State Under-15 Team that finished runners up in the recently concluded Sub-Junior National Championship held in Calicut, Kerala. Following are the names of the 10 players:

1. Benjamin Diengdoh from Pynursla
2. Sangti Janai Shianglong from Mylliem
3. Glenys Godfrey Lynrah from Mylliem
4. Iohborlang Lyngdoh Lyngkho from Nongpoh
5. Fairlystar Suting from Pahamsyiem
6. Shankerlang Kshiar from Sohryngkham
7. Urbanity Makroh from Jirang
8. Jefferson Kharbuli from Sohryngkham
9. Bankyrsan Syiemlieh from Mawsynram
10. Henry Ford Nongneng from Umran

Shillong Lajong also signed two players from the U-15 Mizoram State Team who were champions of the Sub-Junior National Football Tournament 2017 in Kerela. The two players who will join the Shillong Lajong Academy from Mizoram are; Joshua V. L Rinliana and K. Lalfakzuala.

These youngsters will add quality to the Under-15 Squad under the watchful eyes of Coach Bobby Nongbet, who was recently roped in to help in the development of young players at the Club.

Meanwhile, Coach Alison Kharynstiew will continue to be in charge of the Club’s Under-18 Squad that is also doing exceptionally well with a few new additions to the team. Our recruitment of talented players and great staff who will help in their development is an important focus for Shillong Lajong.

Player development is crucial at the youth level and hence the squad building of the Club’s Junior Team is in constant progress. A sophisticated approach to youth development is what the Club aims to go forward with in order to produce the best talent in the country. The vision is to produce a first team for Senior and National Competitions made up of 80% graduates from our Youth Development programmes.

Seeing this as a step towards the long term vision of youth development, General Manager Habamutlang Lyngdoh commented, “We are extremely delighted that these 10 young and talented boys from across Meghalaya have chosen to join us. We take the development of young players very seriously and we thus have the responsibility of helping these players develop their skills to play together and become the future stars of Meghalaya. As a club, we try and implement best practices to increase the chances of success for our Youth Development so that our players across the age groups play an attractive brand of football.”
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WINNING BIDS FOR ISL NEW TEAMS TO BE ANNOUNCED ON 12 JUNE 2017
11.06.2017: ISL PRESS RELEASE : Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), organisers of the Indian Super League is set to announce the winning bids for new team(s) in Indian Super League on Monday, 12th June 2017. The winning bidders will be enrolled and awarded the right to participate in the Indian Super League starting from the upcoming season of 2017-18.

An Independent panel conducted the tender process, which commenced from 12th May 2017 through ‘Invitation To Bid’ (ITB) and evaluated the bids to maintain an open and transparent process. E & Y, the consulting firm is expected to complete, by Sunday the evaluation for all the bids received during the ITB procedure and present its results on Monday, 12th June 2017.

The bids were invited from prospective team owners in respect of 10-cities ie, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Cuttack, Durgapur, Hyderabad, Jamshedpur, Kolkata, Ranchi, Siliguri and Thiruvananthapuram. As per the timelines declared in ITB and to maintain the transparency in the process, the organisers closed the window for bid submission on last day of 25th May 2017.
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AIFF PLANNING FOR SUPER LEAGUE TO FINALISE AFC SLOTS
KFC NEWS DESK - 10.6.17:The All India Football Federation are planning to organise a new Super League to decide the participants of AFC cup. At New Delhi today, the President of AIFF , Prafulla Patel said, that I League and ISL will run simultaneously for the current season.

In a meeting attend by the officials of East Bengal , Mohun Bagan,Churchill Brothers and Lajong FC, AIFF made it clear that the two clubs of Kolkata, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan will not going to be included in the current years ISL. The two new franchisee Bangaluru FC and Tata will get a chance to play in the current years Indian Super League.

The President of AIFF are of the opinion that neither of the teams from ISL and I League will directly participate in the AFC organised tournaments. The top four teams of both the leagues will play in the Super League which will ultimately decide the qualifying team for the AFC tournaments.The Super League will be played in home and away basis with eight teams and fifty two matches. The winners and runners up teams of Super League will play in the AFC Cup and in ACL.

The officials of East Bengal and Mohun Bagan said that they will inform their decision to AIFF only after the Executive meeting of the concerned clubs at Kolkata. According to the sources that the Kolkata clubs will be meeting on Wednesday to decide finally.

The planning of ornanising Super League after the conclusion of I League and ISL are hardly feasible as AIFF will get only six months after the conclusion of U 17 World Cup. Indian national team will be in a busy schedule of international matches in home and abroad during that time.

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I LEAGUE TEAMS MUST FOLLOW THE GUIDELINE OF AFC
AIFF MEDIA RELEASE - 08.06.2017: All India Football Federation’s Executive Committee was chaired by AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel in Mumbai on Thursday (June 8, 2017). Besides AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das; Vice Presidents Mr. Subrata Dutta, Mr. KMI Mather, Mr. Larsing Ming, Mr. Manavendra Singh, Treasurer Mr. ZA Thakur, all other members except Vice-President Mr. Subhash Chopra, Mr. Deepak Kumar and Ms. Sara Pilot attended the Meeting.

Mr. Chirag Tanna and Mr. Rochak Langer represented FSDL in the meeting as invitees while AIFF Technical Director Mr. Savio Medeira, Technical Director, AIFF, Mr. Joy Bhattacharyya, Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup were also present.

As per the requisites of the newly amended Constitution, former India International Player Abhishek Yadav was appointed as one of the members of the AIFF Executive Committee while Mrs. Anjali Shah was nominated as the second woman member of the AIFF Executive Committee.

Mr. Kishore Taid, COO, apprised the Committee with a presentation reviewing AIFF’s four-year strategic plan, while Goutam Kar, Director, Referees, AIFF gave a presentation on Referee Development matters. The Committee approved the proposal of implementing a fine of Rs. 1 lakh for per criteria missed by the Clubs in the AFC Licensing criteria and allowing them to play as is the current norm in the AFC.

The Committee agreed to the proposal of the SAFF Committee to play the SAFF Championship in Bangladesh from May 1-12, 2018. The Committee also approved the proposal to allow Referee Assessors doubling up as Match Commissioners as and when required.

Mr. Henry Menezes also briefed the Committee about Football developments in Maharashtra under WIFA. Meanwhile, Joy Bhattacharya, Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup, India 2017 also provided an update on matters relating to the U-17 World Cup.

The committee was apprised of the meeting held in Kuala Lumpur with all the stakeholders including FIFA and AFC. As per the recommendations of the AFC, a commission would be instituted to find a medium and long term solution taking into account the history, commitment and contributions made for more than 100 years, as well as the new skills. The AFC feels that this road map can be prepared by the end of the year.

However, considering the uniqueness of the forthcoming season wherein India is hosting the U-17 World Cup till October 29, and the fact that the National Team would be playing nine more International matches (including the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers), it is imperative that India put forward their best foot forward to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup, the AIFF will discuss with stakeholders before a final decision is reached.
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AIFF celebrated the first ever AIFF Awards
08.06.2017 : AIFF PRESS RELEASE : The All India Football Federation (AIFF), the sport’s governing body in the country, celebrated the first ever AIFF Awards in a glittering function at a city hotel in the presence of the entire National Team squad and the National Team coach Stephen Constantine. Among other dignitaries present were Shri Praful Patel, President, AIFF, Shri Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF and Shri Subrata Dutta, Senior Vice President, AIFF.

THE WINNERS LIST

2016 AIFF Best Grassroots Program of the Year : Punjab
Best Home-match Organiser of Hero I-League 2016-17: DSK Shivajians & Bengaluru FC
Hero I-League Fairplay Award 2016-17 : Churchill Brothers FC Goa
2016 AIFF Assistant Referee of the Year : Joseph Tony
2016 AIFF Referee of the Year : Pranjal Banerjee
Long-time Contribution to Indian Football : Nike
Best Emerging Player of Hero I-League 2016-17 : Jerry Lalrinzuala (DSK Shivajians)
Best Goalkeeper of Hero I-League 2016-17 : Debjit Majumder (Mohun Bagan)
Jarnail Singh Best Defender of Hero I-League 2016-17 : Anas Edathodika (Mohun Bagan)
Best Midfielder of Hero I-League 2016-17 : Alfred Kemah Jaryan (Aizawl FC)
Best Striker of Hero I-League 2016-17 : Aser Pierric Dipanda Dicka (Shillong Lajong FC)
Highest Scorer of Hero I-League 2016-17 : Aser Pierric Dipanda Dicka (Shillong Lajong FC)
Syed Abdul Rahim Award for Best Coach in Hero I-League 2016-17 : Khalid Jamil (Aizawl FC)
Hero of I-League 2016-17 : Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC)
2016 Special Award for being the First Indian Club to play in AFC Cup Final : JSW Bengaluru FC
2016 Special Recognition Award of the Year : Uvena Fernandes
2016 Special Recognition Award of the Year : Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
2016 Emerging Woman Player of the Year : Sanjuv
2016 AIFF Emerging Player of the Year : Rowllin Borges
2016 AIFF Woman Player of the Year : Sasmita Malik
2016 AIFF Player of the Year : Jeje Lalpekhlua

Among the key awardees were Jeje Lalpekhlua, India national team striker who scored India’s second goal in the recently played international friendly against Nepal, adjudged the 2016 AIFF Player of the Year; Sasmita Malik, adjudged the 2016 AIFF Women’s player of the year and Sunil Chettri, India’s most profilic goal scorer ever with 53 goals from 93 matches, who received a Special Award for surpassing the milestone over the last year. Sunil is also currently the top Indian scorer in NFL and I-League matches taken together.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Praful Patel, President, AIFF, said, “This is a defining year for Indian football as we prepare to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup in less than 100 days. I am confident that with the guidance and support of the Union Government through the Ministry of Sports, we believe we will be able to host the best FIFA U-17 World Cup ever. Today is all the more important, because we are celebrating those wonderful players and other key stakeholders of Indian football, without whose tireless efforts, we would not have reached such a stage. I congratulate all award winners for their immense contribution in growing the game in the country and wish them many more such recognitions in the future.”

Indian Football has been on an upswing in recent years, with the National team’s current world ranking of 100, the third best FIFA ranking ever, a huge improvement from the 173 just about two years back.

The team is on the cusp of qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, the region’s premiere continental football championship. It is presently preparing for their third round qualification game against the Kyrgyz Republic at Bengaluru’s Sree Kanteerava stadium on June 13, 2017. India are currently topping the group after their away victory against Myanmar in the first match of the four-team group. Only the top two teams from the six groups in the third-round of qualification, will make it to UAE in 2019.

As part of their preparations, India played Nepal on June 6 and returned a favourable scoreline of 2-0, with Sandesh Jhingan and Jeje Lalpekhlua getting on the scoresheet.

The sport of Football has also seen a recent surge in popularity with the Union Government led by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) along with the AIFF leaving no stone unturned in this regard with initiatives taken up like Mission XI Million, whose sole aim is to reach out to 11 million kids across the nation.

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AIFF TO SET UP A COMMISSION TO RELSOLVE THE ISSUES

AIFF MEDIA RELEASE - 8.6.2017: All India Football Federation’s Executive Committee was chaired by AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel in Mumbai on Thursday (June 8, 2017). Besides AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das; Vice Presidents Mr. Subrata Dutta, Mr. KMI Mather, Mr. Larsing Ming, Mr. Manavendra Singh, Treasurer Mr. ZA Thakur, all other members except Vice-President Mr. Subhash Chopra, Mr. Deepak Kumar and Ms. Sara Pilot attended the Meeting.

Mr. Chirag Tanna and Mr. Rochak Langer represented FSDL in the meeting as invitees while AIFF Technical Director Mr. Savio Medeira, Technical Director, AIFF, Mr. Joy Bhattacharyya, Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup were also present.

As per the requisites of the newly amended Constitution, former India International Player Abhishek Yadav was appointed as one of the members of the AIFF Executive Committee while Mrs. Anjali Shah was nominated as the second woman member of the AIFF Executive Committee.

Mr. Kishore Taid, COO, apprised the Committee with a presentation reviewing AIFF’s four-year strategic plan, while Goutam Kar, Director, Referees, AIFF gave a presentation on Referee Development matters. The Committee approved the proposal of implementing a fine of Rs. 1 lakh for per criteria missed by the Clubs in the AFC Licensing criteria and allowing them to play as is the current norm in the AFC.

The Committee agreed to the proposal of the SAFF Committee to play the SAFF Championship in Bangladesh from May 1-12, 2018.

The Committee also approved the proposal to allow Referee Assessors doubling up as Match Commissioners as and when required. Mr. Henry Menezes also briefed the Committee about Football developments in Maharashtra under WIFA. Meanwhile, Joy Bhattacharya, Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup, India 2017 also provided an update on matters relating to the U-17 World Cup.

The committee was apprised of the meeting held in Kuala Lumpur with all the stakeholders including FIFA and AFC. As per the recommendations of the AFC, a commission would be instituted to find a medium and long term solution taking into account the history, commitment and contributions made for more than 100 years, as well as the new skills. The AFC feels that this road map can be prepared by the end of the year.

However, considering the uniqueness of the forthcoming season wherein India is hosting the U-17 World Cup till October 29, and the fact that the National Team would be playing nine more International matches (including the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers), it is imperative that India put forward their best foot forward to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup, the AIFF will discuss with stakeholders before a final decision is reached.

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KUALA LAMPUR SUMMIT ENDS UNDECIDED

KFC NEWS DESK-7.6.17 : The all important meeting at Kuala Lampur on Wednesday afternoon failed to yield any positive result as AFC feels it will take time to evaluate and discuss regarding the current scenario of Indian Football. Though AFC opined for a positive road way which is ultimate for the development of Indian football in the near future.

The AFC general secretary Windsor John summoned the representatives of All India Football Federation along with the representatives of different I League clubs, ISL playing franchises and Football Players Association to discuss and review regarding the merger of I League and ISL.

The marketing partner of AIFF, IMGR wants that both the leagues to continue simultaneously which was strongly opposed by the representatives of East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. East Bengal's President Dr Pranab Das Gupta, Vise President Dr Santi Ranjan Das Gupta and the Finance secretary of Mohun Bagan Debasish Dutta evaluated the historic achievements of the Kolkata giants and their contribution in Indian football since last 100 years. East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are in favour of only one League in the country with an inclusion of maximum number of teams in the competition.

The reperentaive of IMGR Sundar Raman and Chirag Thanna explained the marketing strategy and how ISL are targetting to devolope Indian Football. Former Indian international footballers Baichung Bhutia and Renedy Singh who represented FPA are in favour of a single league with an involvement of maximum number of footballers. It was observed after the inclusion of ISL a huge number of footballers were unemployed, while some are playing in both the leagues. This situation in Indian football should be taken care of religiously.

AFC did not recognise ISL as the top tier League as it was quite evident after the meeting that only the I league playing clubs will be eligible to play in the AFC organized tournaments. The officials of AIFF and IMGR are interested to include the ISL champions to play in ACL. On the contrary, AFC did not discuss anything regarding the franchise fees which IMGR requires to participate in ISL. Moreover, AFC instructed AIFF to seat with the I League playing clubs in order to finalise this year's League structure. The secretary general of AFC Windsor John while addressing said that the contribution of the 100 years old club cannot be neglected while the marketing strategy of the new clubs should also be taken under consideration.

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AFC SUGGEST FOR A ROAD MAP IN INDIAN FOOTBALL

AFC MEDIA RELEASE - 7.6.17: Stakeholders in Indian football have agreed a clearly defined road map to create the right structure for Indian club football in the coming years which would culminate in a new and sustainable future for the game across the country.

At a roundtable meeting held today Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur - facilitated by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) - a consensus was reached on working together to find the way forward for the development of Indian club football.

Chaired by AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John, the meeting included representatives of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the Sports Ministry of India, the I-League and ISL clubs as well as from the world governing body, FIFA, the players’ representatives and the AFC.

Agreement was reached that the ultimate goal was to establish the right structure for league football in India and that a strong league would help develop better players and coaches, which would enhance the national team and that would then, in turn, assist the continued growth of club football.

In the meeting, it was agreed that the history, commitment and contributions made for more than 100 years as well as the new skills, investments and marketing and promotional skills required respect.

The AIFF will decide the format for the short-term and there was an agreement around a road map to deliver medium and long-term plans for the game in India through a detailed process.

Independent research would be commissioned and analysed before being evaluated by the AIFF and the stakeholders, with the decisions on the medium and long-term pathway being taken as soon as possible after the FIFA U-17 World Cup, held in India later this year.

Dato’ Windsor said: “There was a desire by people, who are extremely passionate about the game, to marry the strengths of both the traditional and the new, which helped in delivering the objectives of the meeting in which the AFC listened to the key stakeholders.

“The objectives were clear; to help provide a road map for the future development of Indian football by reaching a consensus on the way forward. It was a significant step forward that there was unanimous agreement that the right structure for the game should be paramount.

“The stated vision of the AFC is to be the number one sport in Asia, and so to achieve that aim Indian football and its development is extremely important. There is no doubt that Indian football has huge potential, and the meeting was convened so that potential could be realised.

“There is a need to find solutions which ensure that Indian football is protected and that there are opportunities for young players, who must not be lost to our game.”

Kushal Das, the AIFF General Secretary, added: “We are grateful to the AFC for facilitating the meeting which is crucial to the development of football in India. We must go through this process to create the best future for the game in our country. In the meantime, we have to decide on the short-term future of the game as soon as possible.”


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FC Goa appoints Sergio Lobera as Head Coach

05.06.2017: FC GOA PRESS RELEASE : FC Goa is pleased to confirm the signing of Sergio Lobera Rodriguez as the new head coach of the club. The Spaniard put pen to paper on a two-year-deal and will join the club in the first week of July. Lobera, who has previously coached UD Las Palmas and MoghrebTetouan in Morocco amongst others was also part of the late Tito Vilanova's backroom staff during his tenure as the Head Coach of FC Barcelona.

FC Goa's President, AkshayTandon said" After a thorough and exhaustive process where the best part of 60 names were considered for the job, we are pleased to hand over the reins of the first team to Sergio. We have always maintained that we are looking for a coach who will be able to help us achieve our vision for Goan football and Sergio fits that profile perfectly. We are excited by the ambition he has shown and his enthusiasm in getting to grips with the Indian game. Sergio comes with a proven track record of promoting young talent.

And with the club orienting itself towards the same goal as well, Sergio was the obvious candidate. After the disappointment of last season, we were keen to bring some fresh ideas into the club while continuing to display an attacking brand of football. Having had the opportunity to go through his footballing philosophy and his style of work, we are confident in his ability to evolve the club to the next level. With Sergio’s ambition and drive to succeed being complimented by Derrick’s know how and experience of the Indian game, we are ideally placed to achieve the desired results in the upcoming season of the ISL."

Sergio Lobera Rodriguezadded"I'm delighted to join FC Goa and play my part in a very exciting vision. I see FC Goa as the ideal step in my career and hope to achieve the best results for the club. The passion for football in Goa is well documented and I'm keen to ensure that we play an attacking brand of football that the people of Goa can be proud of.

The owners are keen to ensure that Goan football does not take a backseat in the exciting future of Indian football and having had a chance to visit Goa and observe the facilities and the infrastructure in close quarters, I’m convinced that the club is ideally placed to compete in not just the ISL but across the youth level as well. Having seen the plans in place for the entire youth set-up and the grassroots program, I’m keen to play my part in helping the club work towards a unified playing philosophy, which will extend beyond the realms of the club to all the young footballers in Goa who are keen to take up the game.”

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DIEGO MARADONA TO PLAY A CHARITY MATCH AT KOLKATA

04.06.2017 : The 56 years old Argentine Superstar of World football, Diego Maradona will play a charity football match at Kolkata before starting of U-17 FIFA WORLD CUP in India, on and from 6th-28th October.

The Argentine superstar will be at the City of Joy during the middle of September. According to a reliable source, Diego Maradona will play against a team which will be lead by Saurav Ganguly and the match is expected to play on 18th or 19th September.

This will be Diego Maradona's second visit to Kolkata after December 2008. The world cup winning captain of Argentina, Maradona will be felicitated by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, during his short trip in the city. There was huge enthusiasm among the football lovers of Kolkata during Maradona's last visit in the year 2007 at Salt Lake Stadium.

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Udanta named Player of the Year at Bengaluru FC Awards Night. Chhetri Bags Top Scorer Accolade For Fourth Consecutive Year, Nishu Kumar Most Improved Player

02.06.2017 : Udanta Singh capped off a fantastic year by being named the ‘Players’ Player of the Season’ as well as the ‘Fans’ Player of the Season’ at the annual Bengaluru FC Awards Night, in the city, on Thursday. Joining the youngster with two awards of his own was skipper Sunil Chhetri who walked away with the ‘Top scorer of the season’ and the ‘Goal of the Season’ gong, while Nishu Kumar was named most-improved player.


The twenty-year-old winger who has been with the Blues for three seasons now, turned out to be a vital cog in Albert Roca’s scheme of things and his consistent performances made him a unanimous choice in the dressing room and the stands.

With a fully functional residential academy in place, this season's awards night also included recognition for the best players in the U14, U16 and U18 academy sides. Defender Nihal Iqbal picked up the U14 award while Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia and Ajay Chhetri picked up the U16 and U18 awards respectively.

With 12 strikes since the club's progress to the 2016 AFC Cup quarterfinals, Chhetri bagged the top-scorer award for a fourth consecutive season while his turn and strike against Johor Darul Ta'zim in the second leg of the semifinal, gave him the Goal of the Season accolade.

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PRAFULLA PATEL RESPONDED TO UTPAL GANGULY"S LETTER
KFC NEWS DESK-1.6.17 : The AIFF President, Prafulla Patel finally responded to the letter of IFA secretary Utpal Ganguly. The IFA Secretary in his letter reminded him regarding the revised road map of Indian football which the AIFF President promised to send by 25th May to East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. In fact 25th May was the final date of submitting the bid documents to participate in the forth coming Indian Super League.

In his letter, mailed to Utpal Ganguly ,the AIFF President stated that if required he will going to seat with the Kolkata giants again. Prafulla Patel in his letter mentioned that the rich heritage of East Bengal and Mohun Bagan will be honoured.

Meanwhile, IFA Secretary, Utpal Ganguly will discuss the contents of the letter sent by Mr Prafulla Patel with the clubs at the week end to decide the next course of action. The clubs are now preparing to attend the all important meeting on the 7th of June at Malayasia. Though it will be decide after evaluating the letter of Prafulla Patel on Saturday.