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AIFF clears stance, says working closely with AFC and FIFA

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) After FIFA, in a letter to the All India Football Federation (AIFF), asked for an update on the current situation in Indian football regarding the proposal to have a unified league, the governing body in the country said in a statement that they are working towards it and that is why a two-three-year window has been asked for.

“There are some media reports of a communication between FIFA, and AIFF regarding the issues of Hero I-League, and potentially a unified Indian Football League, where a report of a consultation paper of FIFA and AFC in 2018 is being mentioned.

“In the recent days, the AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel in his meeting with the Hero I-League clubs, as well as in several recent interviews has broadly taken the same line as was suggested in the above mentioned report.

“Needless to mention that this is precisely the reason that a two-three-year window is required to resolve all contentious issues amicably with all stakeholders,” the AIFF said in a media release.

After I-League clubs wrote to FIFA asking them to intervene and solve the impasse since reports came out that the Indian Super League will be given top tier status by the AIFF as per the Master Right Agreement (MRA) signed between the AIFF and IMG-Reliance in 2010, FIFA got back to AIFF general secretary Kushal Das, saying, “We would like to obtain an update on the current position of the AIFF as well as any additional information you may be able to provide on the present situation.”

The I-League clubs such as Minerva Punjab, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Churchill Brothers, Aizawl FC and Gokulam Kerala FC have also been saying that promotion and relegation is important for the development of the game and with ISL being a closed league, that is not being adhered to.

“The question of Hero Indian Super League not remaining a closed league permanently has been clarified amply enough by the AIFF President, and promotion and relegation eventually would lead to development of club football in India,” the AIFF statement read addressing the issue.

“The AIFF is committed to engage with AFC and FIFA as well as all other stakeholders for finding an early resolution to these issues.”

FIFA also pointed out that their report along with AFC had the elements which are being discussed now regarding merger of two leagues.

“Many of the elements under discussion are related to suggestions made in a joint FIFA and AFC report following an extensive consultation process in 2018.

“The report’s objectives are among others, to provide the AIFF with external expertise and to support your federation and its stakeholders in establishing and implementing a widely-supported, robust medium to long-term strategy.”




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