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The chairman of Dempo SC stated that the I-League will continue to be the flagship competition for the Indian FA...

Shrinivas Dempo, one of the vice-presidents of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), stated that the Indian Super League conceptualised by their commercial and marketing partners in IMG-Reliance is a “good model to test”.

The president of the Goa Football Association (GFA) has time and again pointed that with the budgets on the rise in the I-League and the revenue streams being non-existent, investment in the top division league of the country doesn’t make any business sense.

“Revenues however haven’t kept pace with the increasing budgets as we have been spending a lot,” he told The Navhind Times.

He mentioned that should he invest in the ISL by owning the Goa franchise, it would be a “separate commercial venture” and worthy “to try it out.”

The I-League clubs and most importantly, Dempo had raised the concern in the last Executive Committee of the AIFF of the clubs fearing the future of the I-League with the launch of ISL. However Praful Patel, the AIFF President, maintained that such doubts were uncalled for and that the two competitions can co-exist.

“For IMG it is definitely got to be the flagship event. This has got nothing to do with the AIFF. As maintained by our president, Mr Praful Patel, I-League will remain the flagship event and we are definitely looking at ways and means to market and promote this event to make it more successful,” he responded.

However on being pressed as to whether the I-League would become a second tier competition in the country with ISL gaining prominence, Dempo stated, “As far as the I-League is concerned, we have a long way to go. There could be the side effects of the Super League, but the new league has been slotted separately into the Indian football calendar and has its own significance. Super League is just into its first year.”

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