Mohun Bagan, East Bengal want unified league

Debasish Dutta, Mohun Bagan's finance secretary is expecting the 'way-forward committee' — represented by the national federation, FSDL and the clubs — to find a way to have a unified league structure in the country.

Mohun Bagan finance secretary Debasish Dutta is expecting a decision on the unified league structure to be out soon.   -  Nissar Ahmad

Mohun Bagan is hoping for a unified league in the country which would be the future of Indian football. Debasish Dutta, Mohun Bagan's finance secretary who attended the meeting hosted by the All India Football Federation president Praful Patel to hear the I-League clubs on Wednesday, said a solution could well be a possibility now that all those who mattered in the “impasse” have decided to shed their egos and have converged on the discussion table.

“We need to have a unified league but that needs to be structured. You cannot ignore club based football but again you need a patron like FSDL to secure the future of Indian football,” Mr. Dutta said while attending a panel discussion hosted by the Calcutta Sports Journalists Club on Thursday.

“The way-forward committee will have representation from the national federation, FSDL and the clubs to effectively find a way to have a league structure that conforms to the FIFA statutes,” Mr. Dutta said.

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While East Bengal assistant secretary Dr. Santi Ranjan Dasgupta agreed with his Mohun Bagan counterpart, noted footballer and coach Subhash Bhowmick also insisted on finding the right balance that would help nourish the Indian football ecosystem.

The senior vice-president of AIFF, Subrata Dutta, said that the clubs are quintessential to the growth of Indian football. “Football is club-based all over the world. The sport would not grow if the club-based system is obliterated. We need a strong league in the country and in order to make it happen every unit involved in developing football, including the state associations, need to have a development plan,” Mr. Dutta said.

The statement assumes significance ahead of the AIFF executive committee meeting which among other things will discuss the future of I-League, on July 9.

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