Raj Gomes: Clubs should be allowed to stage a tournament when the IMG-Reliance league is on

The IPFCA president was pleased that the Indian FA is willing to overrule their decision of changing the format of the league...
I-League Professional Clubs' Association (IPFCA) president Raj Gomes stated that the clubs be allowed to organise their tournament when IMG-Reliance's proposed IPL-style football league takes place next year.

The I-League clubs met representatives from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and their commercial and marketing partners to ponder over the format of the top division league.

"There was no discussion about the proposed IMG-Reliance league from January, thus making the I-League a secondary tournament to a new league. However, we were categorical that should it be held, then the clubs would be free to organise a tournament with matches being played in cities where the IMG-Reliance league would not be played. We have to wait for the final decision," said the Salgaocar FC general secretary to Herald.

"While the new format of the Federation Cup on home-and-away basis has been agreed, there was a feeling that the I-League could be retained on old format basis, thus doing away with the new conference (east and west) format proposed by the AIFF. We hope it will be retained, of course, with certain modifications and conditions including those connected with the finances. It will kick off on September 21 while the Federation Cup could start on October 5," he added.

Also, with regard to the cap on the number of teams (I-League divisions I and II combined) from a particular city (not more than five clubs), Raj Gomes pointed out that a "more developed" region shouldn't suffer.

"We stand by our opposition to AIFF's move to limit the number of teams from a particular region. The owners of the four Goan clubs, namely Churchill Alemao (Churchill Brothers), Shrinivas Dempo (Dempo SC), Shivanand Salgaocar (Salgaocar FC) and Peter Vaz (Sporting Clube de Goa), who had met in Panjim had agreed that a particular city or state mustn't suffer for being more developed than the rest."