The All India Football Federation is likely to stick to the home-and-away format for the I-League,ditching the conference model that it was hoping to implement for the upcoming season. AIFFs change of heart comes after the 14 clubs met the federation officials in New Delhi on Wednesday and decided to share the operational costs of the I-League in the home and away format.
The AIFF had decided to change the format of the I-League by dividing the teams into Eastern and Western Conferences. The model,inspired from USAs Major League Soccer,was adopted to save the costs incurred by the AIFF on travel and lodging for each team during the course of eight-month league.
However,the clubs opposed the idea,instead preferring the home-and-away format. The representatives of 14 clubs informed the AIFF on Wednesday that they will cover the additional expenses.
The expense sharing ratio will be decided sometime next week, a club official said. AR Khaleel,the chairman of I-League and Federation Cup committee,said the AIFF has no objection to sticking to the current format if clubs share the costs. They are professional clubs and have certain obligations towards the league. They have to raise their own finances. So if they are ready to share the costs,we will not change the format, he said.
However,the clubs agreed to a new format for the Federation Cup,which will now be held on a home-and-away basis. Earlier,the Fed Cup was a league-cum-knockout tournament held in a particular city over a period of two weeks.