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Goan clubs want I-League teams in Indian Super League

Goan clubs have laid down demands for AIFF that there should be no forced relegation of teams to the second tier league in the new format.

Goan clubs, I-League, I-League teams, ISL, Indian Soccer League, Salgaocar, Sporting Clube de Goa, AIFF, All India Football Federation , Football Salgaocar and Sporting Clube de Goa have put AIFF in difficult situations after their withdrawals from the I-League.

Sticking firmly to their stand of withdrawing from domestic football, Goan clubs Salgaocar and Sporting Clube de Goa laid down three demands for the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to consider following an elaborate meeting in the coastal state on Friday. Stung by their withdrawals, top AIFF and IMG-Reliance met owners of the two clubs along with Dempo chairman Srinivas Dempo where the Goans were unanimous in their disapproval of the plans to restructure the domestic system.

The Goan clubs have categorically told the AIFF that there should be no ‘forced relegation’ of the current I-League teams to the second tier league in the new format and insisted all teams should be a part of the Indian Super League, which the AIFF said would become the premier domestic tournament next year onwards.

They further added that merit should be the only qualifying criteria for the existing I-League clubs instead of the bidding and franchise fee formula proposed by the AIFF and their commercial partners. Their final demand, which may not go down well with IMG-R, is that all governance issues of the new leagues should rest exclusively with the AIFF.

The two clubs said their decision to withdraw from the I-League stands unless they receive a ‘final proposal from the AIFF which includes the above mentioned three points,’ they said in a joint statement.

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Former champions Salgaocar and their city rivals Sporting Clube announced their withdrawal from the I-League last week after the AIFF decided to restructure the league system. The draft plan, made public last month, is to form a three-tier football system in India from next year onward and makes ISL the primary league of the country while I-League was reduced to being second division. The clubs called the AIFF’s proposals ‘shocking and disheartening’ and ‘heavily biased against the I-League and its clubs.’ In an effort to calm the situation, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das along with I-League CEO Sunando Dhar travelled to Goa on Friday.

The meeting was also attended by IMG-R’s Chirag Tanna. Srinivas Dempo, who too was present, was present in his capacity as the AIFF vice president. He is also the co-owner of FC Goa. Das has decided to call a meeting of all I-League clubs and has assured the two Goan sides that they would revert with a final binding proposal by July 31.

First published on: 02-07-2016 at 03:42:21 am
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