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With one of the three bidders not in favour of paying the fee, the I-League’s CEO reasons the motive behind the stipulated tenet…

One of the features of the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Request for Proposal (RFP) was that an annual participation fee, INR 3 crores, is to be charged for the first five years in lieu of direct entry into the I-League.

The potential bidders weren’t keen on the above, as they raised the issue in a meeting with the Indian FA last month, and it is reliably learnt by Goal that of the three bids submitted, one hasn’t agreed to pay the annual fee.

“It’s not really a fee that we have said because we want them to contribute in the grassroots development. That’s something that pretty much what we have decided. As long as we can get an assurance and can ensure of that amount is spent on grassroots, infrastructure and youth development, they will be happy that the money is spent on football,” responded Sunando Dhar, the I-League’s CEO, to Goal.

“We never had the intention of making money out of this. So there is no question of getting or the AIFF getting a fees out of this,” he clarified.

On being asked if the Indian FA will be fine should the potential bidders spend the amount assigned as ‘fee’ on youth development and grassroots, Dhar replied in the affirmative.

“I guess we will be happy. The main two reasons why we brought in the teams other than obviously getting new places in the I-League is that they will contribute in youth development and infrastructure. The Evaluation committee and if the Executive committee is assured then we can take them,” he said.

The Bid Evaluation Committee is scheduled to meet on the 21st of this month and their recommendations will be thereby be placed in front of the Emergency Committee the following day.

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