On the back of the scathing allegations by Sporting Clube de Goa and Salgaocar FC the Goan clubs who had pulled out of I-League earlier today, the AIFF has responded saying they have been misunderstood and that they are surprised at the pullout. Here is the complete media release from the Indian Football governing body:
The All India Football Federation expressed regret and surprise over the sudden decision of Salgaocar SC and Sporting Clube de Goa to exit the I-League.
Terming it as a knee jerk and speculative reaction AIFF General Secretary Mr. 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 ad we would like suggestions from various stakeholders. The AIFF has been receiving various suggestions and the last one was received only a week back.”
“Since it involves setting the roadmap for Indian Football every aspect needs to be carefully considered. So the assumption made by the Clubs that AIFF has not responded is presumptuous and speculative.
He also added that while “there is no denying the contribution made by the Clubs who have been associated with Indian Football for a long time, it was also evident that they were unable to create fan base to sustain themselves.”
“The purpose of the proposal was to enable Clubs to create a sustainable model for the future which has unfortunately been wrongly interpreted by some of the Clubs,” he further stated.
Reacting to the allegations of the Clubs about financial matters, Mr. Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League said: “The amount for fielding age-group sides in the respective competitions of AIFF which were pending since 2008, was agreed in an I-League committee meeting that the same would be adjusted against the I-League participation fees. This has been in practice for the last 3-4 years.”