It ran into heavy weather last year and in October, the IMG-Reliance Indian Super League was put off by six months. There was talk later that it could be allotted a September window this year.

But not many are positive that the league, which hopes to bring some of the world’s best players to the country, will happen anytime soon.

“Are you sure it’s coming?” asked Mike Snoei, head coach of Pune FC, here on Thursday. “You’re saying that it will start in September, but I’ll tell you that is not sure.

“We’ve been talking about it for so long. I think the biggest problem is that we are not united,” he said. “Everybody is speaking for his own house. We must find a solution where everybody is in line.

“I feel bad that they want to start another competition. This is not good for Indian football; we have to improve so many things,” said the 50-year-old.

Pune FC is the only club in the country which has passed the AFC’s strict club licensing criterion for I-League clubs.Grassless grounds

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here hopes to host some of the under-17 World Cup matches in 2017, but the teams playing the Federation Cup are upset with the hard, grassless training grounds.

“You invited us here for two weeks, so you must also take care of the facilities,” said Snoei. “I spoke to the AIFF technical director (Robert) Baan, he was surprised that we have no training pitches. I’m happy that the National team coach is here because he was also surprised that we must train like this.

“This is a stadium which will host under-17 World Cup matches, so I hope they learn from this,” said Snoei, who played alongside Marco van Basten in the 1983 FIFA World youth (under-20) championship in Mexico.

“And believe me, when a country like Germany comes here for the under-17 World Cup and you tell the German or English coach to train here, they will go straight back to the hotel.

“I don’t ask for big five-star hotels. I’m just asking for a good training pitch. Nothing special, a normal training pitch.”

Rest day

The Federation Cup had a rest day on Thursday, and the teams were keen to use the break to try out new things and to rectify errors. But without access to the match pitch, the teams had to settle for the little space available on the periphery, which they had to share with a cricket team.


  • Fed Cup teams are upset with hard

    and grassless

    training grounds


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