Kolkata: Indian football might not yet be ready to accommodate an IPL-style tournament, according to I-League runners up Pune FC.
"You cannot make I-League a secondary tournament to a new league. This is unfair. Besides we do not have the correct infrastructure to play a league of this magnitude," Rohan Gavaskar, director of Mumbai-based Ashok Piramal Group that owns Pune FC, said today.
"In cricket the infrastructure, administration and the stature is already there. When IPL is played we get the best of the foreign players who are currently playing. In football we will get retired players. That is an immediate drop in status."
Not optimistic about the upcoming league, he said, "What happens to clubs that have developed into institutions like East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Salgaocar, Dempo and others who have been the backbone of Indian football for so many years? We need more time to plan such a league."
The former India cricketer also said India were firm favourites for tomorrow`s high-voltage clash against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy.
"India are already in the semi-finals. So they will not play with the pressure of qualifying. They look a very balanced side and in fine form. If they play to their potential, they can surely win," he said.
Talking about the ongoing fixing scandal, the junior Gavaskar said, "The players should understand money is transitory, respect is not. Of all things that Sreesanth has lost is the love and respect he used to get. He was an idol and he fell from grace."
The Ashok Piramal Group today announced a majority stake in High Life Management, a sports and entertainment management company.
On the occasion five young footballers Biswajit Sardar, Rohan Tamang, Krishanu Santra, Sanchayan Samaddar and Banpynkhrawnen Nongkhlaw (Ban) were given certificates and scholarships by the sports management group.
High Life Management has signed up Rahim Nabi and is in the process of signing up at least 10 players from the top I League teams.