New Delhi: The All India Football Federation on Friday decided to bring Federation Cup back into the calendar next year, saying the top-eight I-League teams would compete in the tournament.
The AIFF had scrapped the tournament from its calender during the current season as it was felt that the event has lost its sheen due to the co-existence of I-League and the glamorous Indian Super League.
The decision to bring it back into the fold was taken at the AIFF executive committee meeting here today.
"...the committee, as per the suggestions given by the I-league Committee and after consultaion ith AFC, decided to hold the Federation Cup on a Home and Away basis for the season 2015/16. The top eight Teams as per the standings after the completion of the League would be participating in the Federation Cup," the AIFF said in a statement
Today's meeting, chaired by AIIF chief Praful Patel, was attended by General Secretary Kushal Das, Vice Presidents Subrata Dutta and Subhash Chopra among others.
AIFF Technical Director Scott O'Donnell and Indian U-17 National Coach Nicolai Adam were also present along with Bhaichung Bhutia (Advisor), Abhishek Yadav (Director Scouting).
Patel spoke on the significance of the two back to back mega AFC events which are being held in India.
"It's an honour for us that AFC have chosen India to host the AFC Annual Awards and the 5th AFC Medical Conference," he stated.
The AFC Annual Awards are slated to be held on November 29 while the AFC Medical Conference will be held from November 30 to December 2.
There was a discussion on the future plan of the national team wherein all unanimously agreed the Grassroots Programme holds the key for the future.
However, the Committee felt that there should be a short term goal for the team because unless the it puts in a good performance, "there's always a negative perception regarding Indian Football".
The committee felt that India should qualify for the 2019 Asian Cup in UAE.
In the last Meeting, the Committee had issued a directive to the Haryana Football Association to hold the elections at the earliest (not held since 2007) and to furnish the Constitution immediately.
But due to the complete lack of response from the Haryana State FA, the committee, as per the AIFF Constitution, decided to appoint an ad-hoc Committee to enable the elections to be held within six months.
Meanwhile, the AIFF AGM would be held on December 20, 2015 in Goa.