Mr. Praful Patel who is the President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) recently chaired a meeting via video conference in the presence of all State Football association members and AIFF Executive Committee discussing various topics regarding Indian football.
The meeting was graced with the presence of eminent personalities like Senior Vice President Subrata Dutta, AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das, Vice Presidents Mr. Manvendra Singh, Mr. Larsing Ming, Mr. KMI Mather, Mr. Subash Chopra, AIFF Treasurer Mr. Z A Thakur, Deputy General Secretary Mr. Abhishek Yadav, Technical Director Mr. Isac Doru, CEO of Leagues Mr. Sunando Dhar, Women’s Committee Chairperson Ms Sara Pilot, League Committee Deputy Chairman Mr. Lalnghinglova Hmar, and many more stalwarts in Indian football administration.
Apart from these personalities many other important members of state associations were also present in the meeting with Patel. He commenced the meeting by expressing his grief and also sharing his condolences to the people who have lost their near and dear ones during this global pandemic.
“It is a very difficult year for the country and football in general. Almost everything had gone for a toss since last year, due to the pandemic. But we have still been able to complete the Hero Indian Super League and the Hero I-League, though in a much shorter time,” said Mr. Patel.
“As custodians of football we need to do the best we can to ensure that football can resume as soon as it is possible, and that players’ careers are not wasted. We are at a time when we are seeing challenges that we have never seen in our lifetime. Would request everyone to be careful, vigilant, and under the circumstances, do the best we can.”
Isaac Doru who is the Technical Director shared a video briefing where he handed out examples of how the coronavirus has affected several leagues around the world. He drew examples from 23 countries all across the globe which included league like the Netherlands (Eredivisie), Argentina (Liga Profesional de Futbol), Mexico (Liga MX), Romania (Liga 1), Japan (J-League and J2-League). he highlighted how these countries have stopped relegation temporarily to cut the losses incurred during this pandemic phase.
This year, because of the difficult circumstances, many teams have not been able to prepare, or practice, or play under normal conditions. As stakeholders, we need our leagues to be strong and support our clubs. While I am in full support of sporting merit in view of the unusual circumstances it would make sense to stop relegation for the just-concluded Hero I-League season, taking cue from practices across the world. Participation is equally important in these circumstances,” Doru explained.
Patel further added that the matter will be further discussed by the League Committee and then it will be known to the Executive Committee. The President also urged the state associations to vaccinate their star footballers so that the AIFF can start the football season as soon as possible. “I plan to write to the heads of the governments of every state to give priority vaccinations to all the senior players. This will help us resume footballing activities a little earlier than usual, once the situation becomes more stable,” concluded the AIFF President.