AIFF sets target to find sponsors for Arrows

Indian Arrows, comprising mostly under-21 players, was formed last year to prepare them for the 2018 World Cup and as a first step they have been fielded in the elite I-League.
The AIFF is struggling to maintain the team within its Rs.7 crore annual budget as it shells out Rs.11 lakh a month as rent for the self-contained resort where the players are lodged in Gurgaon. And the players get paid between Rs.20 lakh-Rs.25 lakh a year. Domestic carrier Indigo picks up tabs for air travel of the team for I-League matches.

"We are talking to some sponsors with a May 31-deadline. If a sponsorship deal is not sealed by the month-end, AIFF's emergency committee, comprising key federation office-bearers, will take a final call," said AIFF secretary-general Kushal Das, after the executive committee meeting chaired by president Praful Patel Friday.

The AIFF has approached Pune-based industrialist Vishwajeet Kadam to sponsor the Arrows, but it is in no mood to sell the team. The federation somehow wants to keep the project going.

Despite their inexperience, the club, coached by Englishman Desmond Bulpin, has done moderately well in their maiden I-League season and with a match left they are currently lying at the 10th place in the 14-team points-table.

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