The I-League Professional Football Club Association had jointly taken the decision not to loan own players to the IMG-Reliance tournament (now named Indian Super League) while also not taking any of the IMGR contracted players on loan into their roasters, but that situation has changed over the last few days.
The IPFCA had been created by the I-League clubs to speak with one voice and show unity to fight for their interests as club owners.
But Mohammedan Sporting Club has been the first club to break this unity by signing five players – Luis Xavier Barreto, Syed Rahim Nabi, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Ishfaq Ahmed, Manish Mathani – on loan from IMG-Reliance.
Then Mohun Bagan has signed two boys from the now defunct Pailan Arrows in Pritam Kotal and Souvik Ghosh with more likely to follow with Dempo SC, now coached by ex-Pailan Arrows coach Arthur Papas, also showing interest in some of the youngsters.
The club are signing these players knowing that they will have to be released for the Indian Super League, which will be played from January 18 to March 30, 2014 with a Mohammedan Sporting official openly saying that he has to look at the interest of his club, who have had a bad start to their I-League campaign and these players bring a quality which his side currently does not possess.
An honest assessment of the situation at the Kolkata side, but it makes a mockery of the IPFCA unity, which all these clubs had agreed on. Now the IPFCA president RAJ Gomes has called for an IPFCA meeting next week either in Mumbai or Kolkata to discuss the above issues and one will then see, if a consensus and a collective decision can be derived at.
IMG-Reliance’s strategy of wait and watch regarding the I-League and its players has paid off for now.Published 24 Oct 2013, 23:27 IST