Make I-League a separate entity, demand clubs

Criticising All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Reliance-IMG for not doing much for the development of domestic football, I-League clubs joined hands and demanded that I-League be made a separate legal entity of which the clubs will be the majority stakeholders.

The clubs have been assured of a reply by next Monday. The representatives of the 12 teams met the top brass of AIFF and IMG at the Football House in New Delhi on Tuesday, says a report in The DNA. They cited that the AIFF itself wasn’t fulfilling the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) criteria of making the domestic league an independent entity and hence, cost India its spot in the AFC Champions League, the continent’s elite competition.

I-League clubs have joined hands and refused to sign the Asian Football Confederation licensing criteria. Only HAL and Pailan Arrows were not part of the meeting that was held here in the Capital where the IMG-Reliance officials were also present.   According to the clubs, unless their demands are met, they will stick to their decision, says The Times Of India report. The 12 I-League clubs met federation officials and its marketing partner and demanded that the licensing criteria should only be implemented only if the federation follows the AFC guideline of having the I-League as a separate entity.

“We want the I-League to be a separate entity as per AFC guideline and also want club’s to be a stake holder. We have also demanded a share of revenue,” said Pune FC’s Chirag Tanna.

“We have demanded a separate entity for the I-League as per the AFC criteria. Clubs are spending close to Rs 150 crore every season to raise their teams and they should have a say in running the league,” added Debasish Dutta of Mohun Bagan.

The Premier League (PLS) has been deferred by atleast a month, organisers said on Tuesday. “The competition will definitely happen this year but it's being deferred by atleast one month,“ said a Celebrity Management Group official when asked by HT on Tuesday.
The tournament was scheduled to start from March 24 and has stars like Robert Pires, Fabio Cannavaro and Robbie Fowler among others taking part.

In a column in The Times Of India, V Baskaran writes that long ago when he led India to the Olympics gold medal in 1980 in Moscow, he had a dream – hockey would become a commercial hit and youngsters in India would be attracted to it professionally. “ Winning the gold medals on eight counts in the Olympics is a historic achievement for any sport, for any country, but every sportsperson wants to see his/her game prosper. I am happy to say that I see the beginning of that dream taking shape with the World Series Hockey (WSH) league. As a youngster trying to break into the Indian National team and later as captain and national coach of the Indian team, I’ve always believed that there can’t be any gain without any pain. All the players and coaches I have met in my three decades of hockey wanted a world league to happen,” he writes.

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) on Tuesday removed secretary and IAS officer Sanjay Dixit from his post and announced that fresh elections for the post would be held soon. The senior IAS officer was always in thick of controversy and was suspended in July last year from his post with K K Sharma taking over as working secretary.  A couple of days back Dixit had again had drawn attention by resolving his differences with former RCA president and IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.  It is understood that the proximity of Modi and Dixit resulted in withdrawal of support from RCA president CP Joshi by a few of IAS Officer’s supporter districts.