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AIFF Responds to I-League Clubs Threat to Move Court

New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has issued a statement in response to the joint statement from seven I-League clubs that they will follow the legal route if AIFF degrades their competition the clubs to the second division of Indian football.

Earlier on Monday, I-League clubs – Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Churchill Brothers, Minerva Punjab FC, Aizawl FC, NEROCA and Gokulam Kerala FC – issued a joint statement saying they would not accept that "I-League would not longer the TOP LEAGUE "and if AIFF takes such a decision at their meeting of the Executive Committee on July 3, 2019, they are ready to approach" Appropriate Courts for Help ".

AIFF stated in response that "it is very premature and unnecessary to assess any action taken by the AIFF."

AIFF further stated that it would be "unfair" to say that the future of I-League and its clubs "will not be taken into account in future decisions."

AIFF has also made it clear that the federation is in constant dialogue with the Asian Football Association (AFC) and the FIFA world about all decisions made for Indian football.

"In fact, at the last AFC-AGM in Paris, the AIFF asked the AFC Secretary-General Fato Windsor John to visit India specifically for Hero I-League issues," AIFF said in his statement.

AIFF further said that it has spoken with its trading partners Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) about the concerns of I-League clubs.

The whole thing between the I-League clubs and the AIFF started to bubble after it was announced Star Sports will not broadcast all games of the second half of I-League season 2018-19.

Further in February this year, I-League clubs wrote to AIFF President Praful Patel looking for a meeting with him to discuss their future and their inhibitions regarding the functioning of FSDL.

The I-League clubs claimed that they had not received a reply from the AIFF and said they would not participate in the Super Cup if the president did not meet them.

After the threat, AIFF Secretary-General Kushal Das informed the I-League clubs that Patel will meet them between April 10-14, but that meeting never happened.

Upon receipt of the Das response, the I-League clubs demanded the restart of Super Cup from the qualifiers, so that Minerva Punjab FC, Aizawl FC and Gokulam Kerala FC, who had not played the qualifiers in protest, would not suffer.

AIFF refused to do the same and seven I-League clubs, with the exception of Chennai City FC, Real Kashmir and Indian Arrows, boycott the Super Cup for which they have received heavy fines.

Now AIFF has said it is surprised by the accusation of I-league clubs against Patel and it was they who did not meet the president of AIFF.

"It is surprising that the clubs have accused the AIFF president of not giving an audience for their grievances. The only time they were looking for an audience was before the start of the Hero Super Cup, where they were duly informed that the AIFF – President will meet them on every day from 10-14 October 2019, as the President had made previous commitments for the FIFA election of the Council on 6 April in Kuala Lumpur, as well as the general election of Lok Sabha.

"Despite the certainty, the clubs did not meet the president, and rather withdrew from the Hero Super Cup, which caused huge financial losses and negativity for a tournament, because they had confirmed their participation. Of the Hero Super Cup, no appointment has been made by the Clubs until date, "stated AIFF.

Since the past two days, Minerva Punjab has taken FC owner Ranjit Bajaj on Twitter to access pages of AIFF & # 39; s & # 39; Master Rights Agreement & # 39; release with IMG-Reliance in 2010.

AIFF in his statement alluded to Bajaj & # 39; s social media campaign, albiet without naming him, and called the movement "vicious and malicious."

AIFF then warned the clubs against such activities. "We want to warn the clubs to refrain from unnecessary accusations and advise them to make meaningful efforts to improve Indian football."

FULL TEXT OF AIFF STATEMENT:

The AIFF, responding to the joint statement of Hero I-League clubs, believes that it is very premature and unnecessary to review any action taken by the AIFF and to comment in advance at the meeting of the AIFF Executive Committee on July 3 2019.

The AIFF as manager of Indian Football has always tried to find a balance between the interests of all stakeholders, the Hero I-League and its clubs. To say that the future of Hero I-League and the clubs are not eligible for a future decision by the AIFF would be unfair.

In fact, a decision about the Hero Indian Super League that was a competition was also discussed with AFC and FIFA before it was recognized and even for future decisions, AFC and FIFA will be duly consulted. At the last AFC-AGM in Paris, the AIFF asked the AFC Secretary-General Fato Windsor John to visit India specifically for Hero I-League issues.

Although the decision of the AIFF executive committee cannot be assessed, it should also be borne in mind that AIFF has already discussed FSDL with its trading partners about the concerns of the Hero I-League clubs.

It is surprising that the clubs have accused the AIFF president of not giving public for their grievances. In fact, the only time they were looking for an audience was before the start of Hero Super Cup, where they were duly informed that the AIFF president will meet them every day from April 10-14, 2019, since the president had made earlier commitments for the FIFA Council Election on 6 April in Kuala Lumpur, as well as the general election of Lok Sabha.

Despite the certainty, the clubs did not meet the president and previously withdrew from the Hero Super Cup, which caused huge financial losses and negativity for a tournament, as they had confirmed their participation. It must be mentioned that mail has been taken from the Hero Super Cup, no date has been made by the Clubs.

As the manager of Indian Football, the AIFF and the president are always ready to engage I-League clubs with all stakeholders to improve Indian football.

Needless to say, some club owners have run a vicious and malicious social media campaign against the AIFF and its president. We want to warn the clubs to refrain from unnecessary accusations and advise them to make meaningful efforts to improve Indian football.