Football

FIFA asks clubs to cooperate with AIFF

Says the national body is best placed to sort things out

In a tacit support to All India Football Federation’s plans of having a unified football league in the country, the world body (FIFA) has advised the clubs to co-operate with the process.

The AIFF had drawn a three-year road map for unifying the I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL) but opposition from some of the top clubs had put a spoke in the implementation of the process.

The clubs — Minerva Punjab, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Churchill Brothers, Aizawl FC and Gokulam Kerala FC, had approached FIFA to protest against the AIFF move to grant top status to the franchise driven ISL.

FIFA’s acting deputy secretary general Mattias Grafstrom in his response on Wednesday said, “The review performed in 2018 did indeed identify a number of complex issues which require a prudent and measured approach, encompassing the positions of all relevant stakeholders, in order be appropriately addressed.

“After further discussions, it was clear that there are numerous aspects of the recommendations that still require further consideration prior to them being implemented.”

Finances

The AIFF, while admitting the situation arising out of the confrontation between I-League and the ISL, had expressed helplessness citing financial issues. “We can’t be blind to the fact that we need money. It is not that the AIFF does not have the interest of the clubs at heart. We all want to develop Indian football. There is no personal agenda here but sadly some of the clubs look at AIFF as the villain,” AIFF secretary general Kushal Das told The Hindu.

The FIFA, meanwhile, acknowledged, “We understand that based on this the AIFF president (Praful Patel) has met the clubs and suggested a short-term solution until a more sustainable long-term solution can be found following continued consultation with all stakeholders. We therefore strongly believe that the AIFF is best placed to do this and we are confident that a thorough and effective process can be managed by the AIFF in its role as the governing body for football in India.”

Das asserted, “We have all along been saying that only AIFF is best placed to handle the crisis. There is a system in place and the clubs have to understand that financial guarantee for participation is a must.”

The FIFA reply concluded on a positive note, “FIFA, together with the AFC, remains available to assist and support the AIFF with this process and it will be important that all clubs work closely with the AIFF as the cooperation of all stakeholders will be fundamental to ensuring that the best way forward for top-level football in India is found.”

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 12:26:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/fifa-asks-clubs-to-cooperate-with-aiff/article28876279.ece

Next Story