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Indian Professional Football Clubs Association launched

12 I-League club owners/representatives came together today to formally launch the Indian Professional Football Clubs Association (IPFCA) to look after the interests of the top tier football clubs in India. The IPFCA formation is a direct reaction to t...

12 I-League club owners/representatives came together today to formally launch the Indian Professional Football Clubs Association (IPFCA) to look after the interests of the top tier football clubs in India. The IPFCA formation is a direct reaction to the All India Football Federation and their marketing partners IMG-Reliance unability to market and promote the I-League over the last few years. A formal launch will be done soon.

The decision to form the IPFCA was taken following the meeting held at the Ashok Piramal Group Business Centre – Lotus Lounge in Mumbai. The conclusive idea of forming the IPFCA is to safeguard the interest of its member clubs, promote and popularize the football in India. Further it was decided that the IPFCA would be funded by member clubs and formed under the Society Registration Act 1860.

The clubs also spelt out IPFCA objectives, which include
- Promote and safeguard the common interests of the clubs
- Popularize the I-League across India
- Help make the I-League sustainable and profitable
- Encourage the formation of new professional clubs
- Share best practices among member clubs
- Get the I-League teams to play in the Asian Champions League.

There was detailed discussion amongst the club owners and representatives regarding the progress made towards setting a focused approach for making the I-League a separate entity in which the clubs would have major stakes. This move is something that especially the AIFF is objecting to, at the moment.

The clubs expressed deep concern with regards to the departure of Mahindra United and JCT from the Indian club football scene and expressed their anguish that unless corrective suitable action is taken, others may follow suit.

The members who met and outlined IPFCA were
1. Kingfisher East Bengal – Shanti Ranjan Das Gupta
2. McDowells Mohun Bagan – Anjan Mitra, Debashish Dutta, Alokesh Banerjee
3. Prayag United SC – Siddhartha Bhattacharya
4. Salgaocar SC – Shivanand Salgaocar, Raj Gomes
5. Dempo SC – Srinivas Dempo, Suvrat Thatte
6. Sporting Clube de Goa – Peter Vaz, Victor Fernandes
7. Chirag Kerala – Prashantan
8. Mumbai FC – Atul Badgamia
9. Air-India SC – Godfrey Pereira
10. Shillong Lajong FC – Larsingh Ming
11. Pune FC – Nandan Piramal, Chirag Tanna
12. Churchill Brothers SC – requested “Leave of Absence,” but offered total support to the decisions and the formation of the IPFCA.

It was also proposed that the registered office of the IPFCA will be the Pune FC office.

Published with permission from Arunava Chaudhuri.

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