Conference model discussed, clubs told to send recommendations

New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Wednesday heard the concerns of the I-League clubs regarding the proposed conference model for the 2013-14 season and asked all the representatives to send their recommendations in order to arrive at a quick decision.

"The proposed Conference Model (for the 2013-14 season of the I-League) by AIFF`s Emergency Committee was discussed at length. The clubs raised some concerns about the proposed model to which AIFF explained their point of view. The clubs would accordingly send their recommendations so that a decision can be taken jointly," the AIFF said in a statement.

The meeting was chaired by A R Khaleel, chairman of I-League & Federation Cup committee, and attended by general secretary Kushal Das, vice-president Subrata Dutta, treasurer Hardev Jadeja, I-League CEO Sunando Dhar, representatives from all I-League clubs and representatives from AIFF`s marketing partners IMG-R.

Mohun Bagan, though, was conspicuous by its absence.

The proposed move to adopt a MLS-style Conference model for the next I-League season has ruffled feathers in the clubs.

Under the MLS model, the league will see teams divided into two groups -- east and west conference -- with only the top four progressing to the final round, while the remainder of the clubs will fight to save themselves from the one relegation spot.

In Wednesday`s meeting, the committee informed the clubs about AFC`s criteria that all I-League clubs would need to have a coach possessing a Pro-Licence Degree from 2017 onwards.

The clubs were also informed that no technical director without an A-Licence degree would be allowed to sit on the team bench or enter the dressing room from I-League 2014-15 onwards.

The clubs also requested the AIFF`s Executive/Emergency committee to reconsider some of its decisions.

The clubs requested that the number of foreign recruits in second division league be increased to two (from one) to bring it in line with the state leagues.

The clubs pleaded an year`s extension to the decision of having a marque player in their teams by I-League 2015-16.

The AIFF agreed to place the recommendations in the next Executive/Emergency committee for a final decision.

It was also decided that the inclusion of AIFF`s development side Pailan Arrows would be finalised based on the decision of the Executive/Emergency committee.

The Federation Cup draw was also held on the day. The top eight teams of I-League 2012-13 were placed in Pot 1 while the other I-League teams along with the two promoted teams, Rangdajied FC and Mohammedan Sporting, were placed in Pot 2.

Team 15 and Team 16 (both of whom were also placed in Pot 2), would be announced later.

The draw for the Federation Cup, which would be played on home-and-away basis, is as follows (the dates are to be announced soon):

Round of 16:

• Match No. 1: Prayag United vs Team 16 (Prayag play their Home-match first).

• Match No. 2: Salgaocar SC vs Team 15 (Salgaocar play their Home-match first).

• Match No. 3: Sporting Clube de Goa vs Rangdajied FC (Sporting Clube de Goa play their Home-match first).

• Match No. 4: JSW vs Churchill Brothers (JSW play their Home-match first).

• Match No. 5: Mohammedan Sporting vs Dempo FC (Mohammedan Sporting play their Home-match first).

• Match No. 6: Mohun Bagan vs Pune FC (Mohun Bagan play their Home-match first).

• Match No. 7: Mumbai Tigers vs East Bengal (Mumbai Tigers play their Home-match first).

• Match No. 8: Shillong Lajong FC vs Mumbai FC (Shillong Lajong FC play their Home-match first).

• Quarterfinal 1: Winner of Match 1 vs Winner of Match 3

• Quarterfinal 2: Winner of Match 5 vs Winner of Match 7

• Quarterfinal 3: Winner Match 2 vs Winner Match 4

• Quarterfinal 4: Winner Match 6 vs Winner Match 8

• Semifinal 1: Winner of Quarterfinal 1 vs Winner of Quarterfinal 2

• Semifinal 2: Winner of Quarterfinal 3 vs Winner of Quarterfinal 4.