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I-League to kick-off in November: AIFF

The All India Football Federation president, Praful Patel, played host to representatives of the I-League clubs in the Capital on Wednesday.

sports Updated: Aug 04, 2010 23:30 IST
HT Correspondent

The All India Football Federation president, Praful Patel, played host to representatives of the I-League clubs in the Capital on Wednesday.

On top of the agenda was the kick-off date for the fourth edition of the country's top club tournament. League CEO, Sunando Dhar, told HT, "It has been decided that the league will begin after the Asian Games, around the third week of November."

There were proposals to hold the League from March 2011, after the Asian Cup, but this was rejected on the grounds that most clubs had already signed players, and had begun training for the new season.

Dhar said the Asian Football Confederation would be sending its assessment team to India from October 23 to November 1 to assess participating clubs. The AFC has laid down criteria for club licensing, and those who fail, will not be allowed to participate.

Another key issue discussed was the 14th team in the League, after Mahindra United’s withdrawal. A number of clubs had asked for the spot, but it was decided that the AIFF development team (essentially an U-19 squad) would fight it out. The issue of the number of foreigners allowed per team was also decided. The league will retain the current limit of 3+1 overseas players. "Mohun Bagan raised the point that they had already committed to signing four foreigners for the next season, and since other tournaments will be held before the League, the president said he was in agreement with allowing all to play in these tournaments," said Dhar. Normally, only two foreigners are allowed per team for local leagues, the IFA Shield, Durand and Federation Cups which will be held in September, October and November.