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AIFF President to meet agitating I-League clubs


New Delhi, March 22: Holi brought good news for I-League clubs across the country as All India Football Federation (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das informed them that President Praful Patel has agreed to meet them between April 10-15. This comes after the agitating clubs said they will reconsider withdrawing from the Super Cup if the President met them.

"I am sending this communication on behalf of Patel. He will meet the clubs to discuss the road map for Indian football as communicated to me by the clubs on 20th March between 10th to 15th April (tentatively 14th April)," Das wrote in an e-mail to the clubs, accessed by IANS. The venue of the meeting is yet to be finalised.

Das has also urged the clubs to ensure that the game doesn't suffer because of differences in opinion which he said can always be sorted via mutual discussions.

Expressing gratitude to the AIFF President on behalf of the clubs, Debashis Dutta, Director of Mohun Bagan Football Club, stressed that the clubs will participate in the Super Cup but requested the AIFF to start the competition afresh. This is to ensure that clubs like Minerva Punjab FC, Aizawl FC, who earlier boycotted the qualifying rounds, can also be a part of the competition.

"We express our sincere gratitude to our President who has offered to meet us in spite of his hectic schedule. We duly take note of our President's advice and will ensure that football will not suffer because of the differences," Dutta's e-mail said.

"We reciprocate the goodwill gesture by giving our consent/willingness to play the 'Super Cup' with the request to start the competition afresh and reschedule the qualifying rounds," Dutta added.

However, IANS learnt that though all the clubs have received the mail, a unified decision has not been taken yet. It will only be taken after all the agitating clubs sit together and decide the future course of action. This is likely to happen in a day or two.

(Jagannath Chatterjee can be contacted at [email protected])

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