Clubs reluctant to release their U-19 players

Panaji: Several football clubs are reluctant to release their players for forming of a national under-19 team, which AIFF wants to introduce in the I-league.

The All India Football Federation is planning to pick players from the clubs and form a U-19 team, which will be based in Delhi, and shall gain a direct entry into the I-League next season.

The move is aimed at making a strong team for the next World Cup qualifiers but the clubs are not keen to break their long contracts with the players.

One of the Goan clubs, whose player figured in AIFF list, want its players to play for them only in the next season and some of the clubs want a transfer fee from the AIFF.

The AIFF idea was to make the Delhi club a role model for all the I-League teams in terms of the the AFC club licensing criteria.

“They had to begin working on this project a lot earlier even though it was decided only a few months back. Now it’s too late to come up with this project,” said an AIFF Executive Committee member.