We had reported earlier suspecting the discomfort of AIFF and IMG about the initial thrust that the PLS got and that it has plans to kill the league in its infancy. It appears true now. The AIFF has found a big technical loophole in the proceedings of the PLS.
The IFA secretary Utpal Ganguly did nothing about the registration process of the 6 teams in the proposed league. Without being a proper registered one, no club can operate legally. Now the international players’ transfer is centrally regulated by the FIFA and every club hoping to sign a foreigner needs to go through Transfer Matching System (TMS). The clubs were given a password by FIFA to enter in the TMS. But on the request of the AIFF, the passwords have been revoked.
The problem would not have arisen had the club owners retained the initial given names. FC Kolkata, South Bengal United, North Bengal United etc were the names that were used to register and get TMS passwords. But now they have run into trouble.
The transfer window closes on 15th of February. After this, they will not be able to get the foreign players play in the PLS. If IFA fails to submit the required documents to AIFF before the emergency meeting on 13th February, the AIFF will revoke the permission of holding the tournament pulling down the shutters on it.
The IFA is not revealing its strategy as to how can they prepare all the papers within 2 days. They initially tried to get the clubs affiliated to 5th Division CFL teams and awarding them Rs. 1 lakh each. But that is not allowed by the IFA constitution. Now they will be looking to get the clubs affiliated to district associations and form some new exclusive rules for PLS.
The bottom-line is that the IFA has been caught off-gaurd. They sat over the things and did not really have a clue about what are the legal hurdles that might appear due to lack of the knowlrdge of the AIFF guidelines. The CMG had done its job excellently and has distanced itself from all the mess created by IFA.
The AIFF were looking for a way to block the PLS and the IFA have gifted that to them. Without the foreign players, the PLS is impossible and will have to be postponed for at least an year.