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No long-term impact on Indian soccer: Praful Patel

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) president, Praful Patel, told HT on Saturday that he didn't think Mahindra United's decision to disband would have a long-term impact on Indian football.
Hindustan Times | By Dhiman Sarkar, Kolkata
UPDATED ON MAY 01, 2010 11:57 PM IST

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) president, Praful Patel, told HT on Saturday that he didn't think Mahindra United's decision to disband would have a long-term impact on Indian football.

"It is unfortunate that they have taken such decision, but I don't think it will really impact Indian football. Already, in Pune FC and Mumbai FC, we have two new teams from Maharashtra. So football here wasn't only about Air India and Mahindra United," said Patel.

"We are looking to expand the the I-League and we will definitely have the interests of Mumbai football in mind when that happens. There could even be a new team from Mumbai. Also, it isn't as if they (Mahindra United) have exited football. They will focus on grassroots."

Patel said the expansion, which will take the number of teams up by 2, to have 16 teams next season, will be based on recommendations from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

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