Salgaocar FC, Sporting pull out

Salgaocar FC, Sporting pull out

Football I-League : Goan clubs withdraw labelling AIFF proposal 'discriminatory'

Salgaocar FC, Sporting pull out

 Two of Indian football’s traditional outfits, Salgaocar FC and Sporting Clube de Goa, decided on Friday to “withdraw” from the forthcoming season of I-League over the AIFF’s decision to restructure the domestic league system.

The decision was made public in a joint statement issued by the two Goa-based clubs.
The AIFF, which on May 17 met various stakeholders, including its marketing partners IMG-Reliance, virtually recognised ISL as the country’s premier league as per its draft plan, while deciding to form a three-tier football system in India from 2017-18.

“Over the past few weeks, Salgaocar Football Club and Sporting Clube de Goa have had several rounds of discussions and have deliberated the impact that the May 17 proposal will have on the state of the sport. It is clear that the proposal is highly discriminatory, goes against sporting merit, is unworkable for I-League clubs and hampers Goa, which is the best represented state in the I-League, the most,” the two clubs said in a statement.
It added, “Therefore, rather than waiting for another year to face the inevitable, Salgaocar Football Club and Sporting Clube de Goa have decided to take the painful decision to withdraw from the forthcoming edition of the I-League.”

The AIFF has also faced opposition to its proposed plans from legacy clubs such as Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. The exit of Salgaocar and Sporting Clube de Goa will come as another blow.

“At this meeting a detailed proposal was presented, which is heavily biased against the I-League and its clubs. Not only does it relegate the I-League to a second tier league, but also does away with promotion, thereby replacing merit with a franchisee fee as the primary criteria for participating.

“The ISL, hitherto termed as only a tournament by the AIFF, would leapfrog the I-League to become the nation’s top league, with no relegation.”

AIFF surprised

Meanwhile, the AIFF expressed regret and surprise over the decision Salgaocar SC and Sporting Clube de Goa.

Terming it as a knee jerk and speculative reaction, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said: “We along with our marketing partners have been very transparent sharing our thoughts with all stakeholders regarding the way forward for Indian Football.

“It was clearly stated that the shared draft was only a proposal and we would like suggestions from various stakeholders. Assumption made by the Clubs that AIFF has not responded is presumptuous,” he added.

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