[QODLink]
Football

Indian clubs meet to discuss franchise

The All India Football Federation is meeting with clubs to find a new way to develop football in the nation.

Last Modified: 24 Jul 2013 11:07
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
FIFA President Sepp Blatter with All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Praful Patel (R) [EPA]

Owners of India's leading clubs are expected to meet national football administrators next week to discuss a new franchise-based competition that could overshadow the existing I-League.

The All India Football Federation, which runs the I-League, is considering plans for a franchised version that would be played in parallel with the current league. Next week's meeting with clubs is an opportunity to set out how this would be done.

"We'd like to know how such a league will benefit Indian football and the I-League clubs," Pune FC owner Nandan Piramal said in a statement.

The serious challenge is how to improve the game and develop the
I-league which is the bedrock of Indian football

Valanka Alemao, CEO of I-League club Churchill Brothers

"We're going into this meeting with an open mind and without any preconceived notions."

Piramal said any new competition or format would require negotiations between club owners, the AIFF and sponsors IMG-Reliance, who signed a $140 million deal in 2010 for the game's national marketing rights.

"Players have begun to understand the importance of the I-League. They know how key it is to play football throughout the season to help their careers," Piramal said.

Valanka Alemao, CEO of I-League club Churchill Brothers, was even less enthusiastic about the proposed new competition.

"You need to appreciate the fact that till date Indian football is alive because of the toil and sacrifice for decades of the existing clubs," Alemao said.

"The serious challenge is how to improve the game and develop the I-league which is the bedrock of Indian football."

Plans for a similar franchise-based league that was to feature the likes of former Argentina striker Hernan Crespo and Italy's World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro failed to materialise earlier this year.

A five-team tournament was announced with much fanfare by the Indian Football Association, a regional body covering the state of West Bengal, but it failed to make progress after a players' auction in January last year.

India are ranked 146th in the world game, but clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool and Bayern Munich have been looking to tap into their huge fan bases in this country of 1.2 billion people.

367

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.