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Salgaocar and Sporting Clube de Goa put up 3 demands before the AIFF

The Goans had earlier decided to withdraw their teams from the I-League.

Chennaiyin FC celebrate winning the second season of ISL

The premier football completion of India, the I-League, was dealt a blow as the Goan clubs Salgaocar, owned by Shivanand Salgaocar and Sporting Club de Goa, owned by Peter Vaz withdrew their teams as reported earlier. They jointly put out a statement later stating their “painful” decision. The AIFF (All India Football Federation) was stung by this decision and arranged a meeting with the club owners along with Dempo SC owner Srinivas Dempo, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das, I-League CEO Sunando Dhar and IMG-Reliance's Chirag Tanna were all present at the meeting.

Also read: Indian football headed for trouble? I-League clubs furious about AIFF's new domestic structure

The Goan clubs’ three demands were: Teams in the I-League should not be forcefully relegated to the second tier of the league competition, there should be no franchise fees and no bidding process for the existing I-League clubs which would make merit as the only qualifying factor and all governance issues should exclusively rest with the AIFF.

The three clubs unanimously stated their disapproval to the new restructuring plans of the domestic system. According to the new roadmap, the ISL (Indian Super League) is expected to be top tier with the current I-League to be reinstated as the League One and the Second Division as League Two. The teams in the top tier are immune from relegation. League One teams will be in danger of getting relegated to the League Two while the team who tops League Two will be guaranteed promotion.

The clubs from Goa had earlier stated that there should be “no forced relegation” of the teams currently in the I-League to the League One in the new format and all the teams should be included in the Indian Super League. The problem that arises here is that IMG-Reliance has a previous understanding with the eight teams in the ISL that there won’t be any relegation for the first 10 years.

Also read: The exodus of Goan clubs highlights the mess in Indian football 

The three Goan clubs called the AIFF’s proposals “shocking and disheartening” and “heavily biased against the I-League and its clubs”’

The AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das has agreed to hear to all the views of the I-League clubs and would consult with the AIFF President Praful Patel, the executive committee and the marketing partners IMG-Reliance before a final decision is taken on 31 July.

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