The impasse over the induction of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal into the Indian Super League (ISL) continued as another round of talks with the AIFF did not yield any fruitful result on Saturday.
“No final decision has been taken,” the All India Football Federation president Praful Patel said, while Mohun Bagan assistant general secretary Srinjoy Bose said: “It’s a big decision. It will take some time.”
The AIFF boss had called the two Kolkata heavyweights and the Indian Football Association secretary Utpal Ganguli to resolve the impasse as Mohun Bagan and East Bengal were adamant not to pay the franchise fee to play in the ISL.
They also did not want to play in the I-League if it’s run in parallel with ISL.
The AIFF officials remained tightlipped but IFA secretary Utpal Ganguli, who has been negotiating with the parent body on behalf of the clubs, however sounded “positive and hopeful of a solution soon”.
Without divulging the details, Ganguli told PTI: “The discussions have been positive and the AIFF is working out on a proposal which would do no harm to the I-League clubs as well as to the ISL. They will send us the minutes and we will deliberate upon that.”
In continuation with the series of inconclusive meetings, the Big Two will now sit together in Kolkata on June 12 to “work out a formula” before getting in touch with AIFF again, the next day.
“The AIFF president was firm in saying that they would have to pay the franchisee fee but they (Clubs) have been adamant. Secondly, they also don’t want to play in the I-League if it’s made a smaller tournament in a two to three months’ window,” a source, who was present at the meeting, said.
Earlier, the AFC had intervened in the matter with a meeting at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur but there too the logjam had continued and a fresh meeting was called in the national capital.
But both parties, the AIFF and Kolkata clubs, refused to budge from their respective ways.
East Bengal were represented by senior officials Debabrata Sarkar and Shanti Ranjan Dasgupta, while the meeting also had Shillong Lajong owner Larsing Ming Sawyan and Churchil Brothers CEO Valanka Alemao.
Apart from Patel, the AIFF had its vice-president Subrata Dutta, secretary Kushal Das, I-League CEO Sunanda Dhar and senior manager, I-League operations and club licensing Akshay Rohtagi.