I-League clubs request AIFF to ‘unchange’ marquee rule

New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) I-League clubs on Tuesday requested the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to unchange the “marquee” player criteria till the next season.

The request came as the AIFF conducted an I-League workshop with officials of all the top tier clubs here. The “marquee” player was concept was introduced by the AIFF last year to improve the dwindling standards of the game in India.

“A foreign recruit who has represented his country in any of the continental championships like the European Championship, Copa America, African Nations Cup, Asian Cup, or Fifa World Cup will be called a marquee player,” the AIFF said in a statement last yearnto determine what constitutes a “marquee” player.

The AIFF was mulling to tweak the “marquee” criteria for the upcoming 2015-16 season. But the I-league clubs were not too keen on the idea.

“The topic of marquee player was put forward by I-League officials in the afternoon session by I-League committee. Albeit the club officials welcomed the idea of marquee player, they have collectively requested to unchange the marquee criteria till next season,” an I-League release said on Tuesday.

AIFF technical team will have further discussion amongst themselves on this matter and they’ll get back to the clubs with clearer views,” it said.

The workshop also mentioned the clubs should come up with four separate age-specific squads (Under-13, U-15, U-18 and U-20), whoi should be given lessons about sports integrity, laws of game and doping.

“The following session was directed to discuss the alterations in the Indian Club Licensing Regulations for the season 2016-17, which the clubs need to start working on right now. Unlike the current team pyramid for each club, the club must overhaul the system and they should come up with four separate age-specific squads for Under-13, U-15, U-18 and U-20 prodigies,” it said.

“Grassroots development program must be emphasised and clubs must bank on the youngsters to hone their skills. Sports integrity, laws of game, doping and all of these vulnerable issues would be taught to those prodigies so that they could be honed on a whole and be educated enough about these issues which could prove fatal for their professional career.”

The clubs were also told to appoint one goalkeeper coach and one fitness coach for the senior team to improve their performances.

“Clubs are being encouraged to appoint one goalkeeper coach and one fitness coach for the senior team to improve their performances. In addition to these appointments, clubs must deploy one administration officer and match operations officer to smoothen the matchday processes,” the release said.

“Marketing aspect needs to be inculcated in the detailed budget plan and the club need to spend not less than 5 percent of their total allocated budget.”

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