AIFF gives thumbs up to IPL-style league
New Delhi: All India football Federation (AIFF) on Thursday gave its go ahead to the IPL-style league with its executive committee agreeing to the holding of the tournament by its commerical partners IMG-Relliance early next year.
"IMG-R gave a detailed presentation about the proposed tournament and we feel it will be the I-league which will sustain Indian football but this short league will be a booster dose for Indian football.
"Through this tournament we are looking for the popularisation of Indian football and taking the game to the masses. I league and this tournament will go hand-in-hand," AIFF president Praful Patel told reporters.
Patel said the league will have players from across the world with plenty of experience in international tournaments.
"They have made the presentation that they will sign marqueee who have played in the World Cup and major international tournament. It will be a combination of Indian and International players," he said.
Since the idea of the tournament came to the fore, the clubs have been adamant that they will not release players for this league but Patel said there was no real issue among the stake holders.
"There is no real issue among the AIFF, IMG-R and the I-league clubs. I-league is our number one priority and it will remain so in future also. We will strictly implement AIFF club licensing criteria for professionalising the clubs and all the issues will be sorted out amicably," he said.
"I would just call these as grey areas which is expected to come up in the first year of any tournament. The league is going to be held for the first time and naturally there will be some issues and we will sorted it out," he added.
He said a committee of four vice-presidents -- Subrata Dutta, Srinivas Dempo, Larsing Ming Sawyan and K M I Mather -- to speak to the clubs.
"Two members of these committee are themselves club owners and they will talk to the clubs to find an amicable solution to the issues and the important point is we have to see the largest picture which is to improve the profile of Indian football," he said.