While the Asian Football Confederation president Zhang Jilong was in New Delhi yesterday to chair the last meeting of the AFC’s Ad hoc Committee for Indian Professional Football, the four representatives of the I-League clubs – Pranab Dasgupta (President, East Bengal), Joaquim Alemao (President, Churchill Brothers), Rajeev Piramal (Director, Pune FC) and Larsing Ming Sawian (Owner, Shillong Lajong) – decided not to attend.
Interestingly it was highlighted by the AFC, the AIFF and others attending, that things are moving in the right direction with the I-League and, in place of the Ad hoc committee, a new Task Force would be created to further push for its development.
But the reality is far from it. Otherwise, why would the I-League clubs not attend such a final committee meeting?
It is clear from such a reaction by the clubs that things are far from perfect as shown by the federation. The clubs have formed their own body in the Indian Professional Football Club Association and the plans, which the AIFF along with their marketing partners IMG-Reliance were supposed to present to the clubs on April 20, are still pending.
The dates of next season’s I-League might be finalised, but where the I-League is heading in the future is totally unclear which, the authorities running the affairs should know, is simply unacceptable.
Published with permission from Arunava about Football.