IFA threatens to start parallel tournament to protect traditional clubs

The threat from IFA comes a day ahead of a proposed meeting of the two city giants—Mohun Bagan and East Bengal—with the AIFF in Mumbai over the issue of merger and the draft contract which has been objected to by the clubs on various points.

The AIFF bosses are to meet the officials from Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in Mumbai on Saturday.   -  PTI

 

The Indian Football Association (IFA), the first among the football administrative bodies in the country, has spoken about the possibility of floating a parallel league if the National federation—All India Football Federation (AIFF)—is unable to work out a proper merger of the I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL).

The threat from IFA comes a day ahead of a proposed meeting of the two city giants—Mohun Bagan and East Bengal—with the AIFF in Mumbai over the issue of merger and the draft contract which has been objected to by the clubs on various points.

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“There is no point in undermining the heritage and history of the two clubs like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal by asking them give out the rights of their name, jersey and emblems,” Utpal Ganguly, the general secretary of IFA, which governs football in West Bengal, said in a news conference on Friday. The IFA secretary was referring to the draft contract issued to the two big clubs of the city where they have to give out the rights of their intellectual property to the promoter of the new tournament including the name of the clubs, their emblems, the colours of their jersey, among other things for the next 30 years.

“I sincerely hope that the meeting brings out a solution or else we would be starting a new tournament to protect the interest of the clubs with proper fan base,” the IFA secretary said, sending out a signal to its parent body, AIFF, and its marketing partner, IMG-Reliance.

Ganguly said there should be a balance between commercial interest of the organiser and interest of the clubs to ensure a proper management of any tournament. “We are in talks with the clubs from North-East and Goa about exploring all avenues to protect the identity and rights of the traditional clubs,” Ganguly said.

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