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AIFF Emergency Committee Meeting: Some fruitful decision.


The President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Mr. Praful Patel chaired the AIFF Emergency Committee Meeting at Udyog Bhawan in the Capital on May 27 (Monday). Besides, AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das and Senior Vice-President Mr. Subrata Dutta, Vice-Presidents Mr. Shrinivas Dempo, Mr. Larsing Sawyan, AIFF Treasurer Mr. Hardev Jadeja and I-League Chairman AR Khaleel also attended the meeting. The Committee unanimously decided on various aspects of Indian football for the near future. We will now assess them pointwise- which decisions are likely to benefit us and where there are certain loopholes. These are as follows:

1. "The Emergency Committee ratified the decision of the Bid Evaluation Committee to provisionally clear JSW (to be based in Bangalore) and Mumbai Tigers (to be based in Mumbai) to play in the 2013-14 edition of the I-League. As regards the bid from the Consortium from Kerala, certain clarifications have been sought, post which a decision would be taken."

After the dissolution of Viva Kerala and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), South India will once again be able to have a club in the I-League thanks to a successful bid from JSW Steel Limited to own a franchise team to be based in Bangalore. There is also the chance of a second team from the South Zone if the bid from the Keralite Consortium is accepted. Also, we will be able to witness a Mumbai Derby with Mumbai Tigers, owned by Dodsal Group, becoming the second club from the city to qualify for the I-League since Mumbai FC.

2. "The 2013-14 I-League season which will kick-off in August 2013 will be divided as per the Conference Model, the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. The top-four from each Conference would advance to play the final round."

The new format of the I-League will thus be emulated according to the successful Major League Soccer of USA. This will make the league much more lucrative and also economical from the perspective of the clubs since they will not have to travel far and wide, except during the final round. This will make the I-League much more exciting.

3. "Each I-League Club would be allowed to register a maximum 30 players out of which a minimum five would be required to be U-23 Players. Minimum two U-23 players need to be in the Final 18 and at least one in the Final Playing XI."

A similar decision was taken by the IFA for the Calcutta League where it was mandatory to field an U-19 player in the starting lineup(IFA however has abandoned this decision of fielding U-19 players with the alibi that most of the clubs are not fielding players according to the age and getting away with it based on documental evidence, instead of enforcing it properly .) Many young players with great potential have come up thereafter . The decision of fielding an U-23 player, that also in the national level, should certainly reap rich dividends in the long run and will also be beneficial for the National Team in the long run. 28 or 32 U-23 Players will be playing in I-League and will gather experience which helps to make Strong National team.

4. "The Committee also set up a deadline for existing I-League Clubs by which the existing Clubs would have to start constructing their own Stadium/refurbish an existing Stadium latest by June 1, 2015, the failure of which the defaulters would be axed from the League."

Although the cost of erection of a new stadium will be massive, it also paves the way for a new source of revenue for the clubs in the long run. Thus it will help the clubs to become financially much stronger and will enable them to buy good players and also develop their teams in the grass-root level. More importantly, this decision, when implemented, will also give rise to the existence of excellent infrastructure with state-of-the-art facilities.

5. "One Club barring JSW and Mumbai Tigers would be relegated from the 2013-14 edition of the I-League and they would be replaced by a promoted Club from the 2nd Division League."( how long is this immunity???)

From the financial point of view, it is a good decision but here, the merit comes into question as the club with a performance not worthy of relegation might well be relegated. Moreover, AIFF's developmental side, Arrows, also do not get relegated and if the bid by the Consortium from Kerala for a third franchise team is accepted, then it will be four teams in total which will be saved from relegation and ultimately relegation has the chance of turning out to be a farce.

6. "The participating fee for existing Clubs for the I-League 1ST has been increased from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 500,000. There would be a participating fee of Rs. 100,000 for all participating Clubs in the 2nd Division League."For the 2nd Division League qualifying round all eligible clubs will now have to bear all including travel and stay' . AIFF will only be responsibre for the expenses incurred for the Final phase. The season now begin from Nov 2013 and may run up to March -2014. only l team will be promoted FROM 2ND TO 1ST DIV.

The increment of the participation fee in the first division and the introduction of participation of fee in the second division gives AIFF an opportunity to earn some decent revenue.

7. "For the 2013-14 edition of the I-League, the Committee decided to increase the number of Foreign Recruits to four. Every Club would be allowed to register four Foreign Recruits (3+1 of Asian Origin) and play all of them. Every Club would be allowed to field one Foreign Recruit in the 2nd Division League. Besides, all Clubs participating in any State Association League would be allowed to register and field two Foreign Recruits in a match."

The decision of reducing the number of foreigners in the local leagues and the 2nd division league gives the scope of more Indian players to display their talent. But the decision of fielding four foreigners in the first division turns out to be contradictory as the Indian players, especially in the strike department might well be deprived of a regular place in the lineup and thus this will hamper their progress. Although it is compulsory to field an U-23 player, it might not be enough and it may be difficult to develop Indian strikers in the long run. The limit for the I-League clubs should have been less since most of the local teams play against I-League clubs in the state leagues. So the criteria for the number of foreigners in both the state leagues and 2nd division should have been standardised.

8. "The age-limit for the U-20 Tournament for I-League Clubs have been brought down to U-19. All the Clubs would be required to field Teams in the U-19 Tournament. Besides, AIFF Academies and Private Academies would also be a part of the U-19 Tournament. It's also mandatory for all the 2nd Division League Clubs to field a Team in the Tournament. All teams playing in the U-19 Tournament would have to bear the cost of travel and stay for the Regional Rounds. However, the AIFF will bear the expenses for the final phase."

This will increase the number of young players and it will also widen the range of the pool of players regionally as clubs from different states will be able to participate. However it will be difficult for MOST OF THE clubs to take care of the entire cost themselves, thus limiting the positive impact of this decision and considering AIFF's focus on youth development the entire cost should have been bourne by AIFF

9. "It was decided that there would a Cap of maximum of five teams from any particular City in I-League and 2nd Division put together. The Teams would have to qualify based on the performance in the local Leagues. If additional Teams from Goa and Kolkata qualify in subsequent editions, those particular Teams have to relocate and play in a different venue subject to approval of AIFF/I-League.

By the 2015-16 season onwards, not more than two teams from any particular venue/city would be allowed to play in the I-League except for Kolkata and Goa where not more than three would be allowed keeping in mind their historical contribution to Football. "

This decision is being made to spread the game of football to different states and make it more popular across the country. But again, like Point no 5, the question of merit will again be raised. There are currently four clubs from each of Bengal and Goa in the I-League. Assuming that they are still in the I-League without getting relegated, it will be illogical to remove a good team just because they are from a certain region. Again, if 5 clubs are allowed in total in the two divisions, and there are already 2/3 clubs participating in the first division from a particular city/region, then the clubs from the same city/region participating in the second division, will not be motivated to look for promotion, unless a club from the same city/region gets relegated. Clubs with less merit might well then be playing instead of those who actually deserve it.

10. "The Committee decided to change the format of the Federation Cup. The next edition will be played on a Home and Away basis on a knock-out system including the semifinals. The Champions will earn the right to host the following edition's Final match."

This decision ensures that there is no need to reserve a separate window for the Federation Cup and the fixtures can be played in between I-League matches. The newly formatted Fed Cup will thus be similar to the Cup tournaments (EPL along with FA Cup) which are organised in the top European countries. Like the I-League, the Fed Cup will also turn out to be a really exciting tournament and thus it is a really good decision taken by the AIFF.


29.05.2013 : KFC. | HOME PAGE



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