AIFF calls I-League clubs' decision as "premature and unnecessary"

The All India Football Federation has labelled the seven I-League clubs' decision to approach court as "premature and unnecessary."

The All India Football Federation has strongly condemned the decision of the seven I-League clubs.   -  Twitter @IndianFootball

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has called the decision of the seven I-League clubs to approach court if the Indian Super League is named the top-tier of Indian football as "premature and unnecessary."

In a statement released on Monday, the AIFF said: "The AIFF reacting to the joint statement of Hero I-League clubs feel that it is very premature and unnecessary to pre-judge any action of the AIFF, and be commenting on the AIFF Executive Committee meeting on July 3, 2019 in advance.

The AIFF as a custodian of Indian Football has always endeavoured to balance to the interest of all stakeholders, and the Hero I-League, and its clubs. To say that the future of Hero I-League and the clubs will not be taken into consideration for any future decisions of the AIFF would be unfair."

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The statement added that the AIFF had asked Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) General Secretary Dato Windsor John to come to India to address the issues surrounding the I-League. "As a matter of fact, a decision regarding the Hero Indian Super League becoming a league were also discussed with AFC, and FIFA before it was given recognition, and even for any future decisions AFC and FIFA will be duly consulted. In fact, during the last AFC AGM in Paris, the AIFF asked the AFC General Secretary Dato Windsor John to visit India specifically for Hero I-League issues.

Furthermore, while the decision of the AIFF Executive Committee cannot be pre-judged, it must also be borne in mind that AIFF has already spoken to its commercial partners FSDL about the concerns of the Hero I-League clubs."

Seven I-League clubs had withdrawn from the Super Cup owing to their differences with the AIFF. One of their grievances was that they could not secure a meeting with AIFF president Praful Patel despite repeated requests.

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Responding to this, the statement read:"It is surprising that the clubs have accused the AIFF President about not giving them any audience for their grievances.  In fact, the only time they sought an audience was before the commencement of Hero Super Cup, where they were duly informed that the AIFF President will meet them any day between April 10-14, 2019, as the President had prior commitments for the FIFA Council Election on April 6 in Kuala Lumpur, as well as the Lok Sabha general elections.

Despite the assurance, the clubs did not meet the President, and rather pre-maturely pulled out of the Hero Super Cup, causing huge financial losses and negativity for a tournament for they had confirmed their participation. It must be mentioned that post pulling out of the Hero Super Cup no appointment has been sought by the Clubs till date. As a custodian of Indian Football, the AIFF and the President are always happy to engage with all stakeholders including I-league Clubs for the betterment of Indian Football."

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