Dempo Sports Club Chairman, Shrinivas Dempo strongly refuted any talk of his club breaching the trust of the I-League Professional Football Clubs' Association (IPFCA) of which his club is an integral part of.
The contentious issue was raised when it was revealed that Dempo SC had roped in a group of Pailan Arrows youngsters viz. Alwyn George, Holicharan Narzary, Narayan Das and Pronay Halder, who had no direct link with the Indian Super League (ISL) of IMG-Reliance but were slated to participate in it by default as per the agreement with the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
The IPFCA, a union that is entrusted with upholding the rights of the I-League clubs, had issued an order unanimously agreed on by the constituent members, barring all domestic clubs from signing the players (on loan or on a permanent basis) who had agreed to participate in the ISL, a football tournament modelled on the hugely popular Indian Premier League (IPL).
Clarifying his clubs stand on the issue to The Herald, Shrinivas enunciated, “I want to make it clear that Dempo never deviated from the stand of the IPFCA.”
Mohammedan Sporting were the first club to violate this rule, thereby raising tempers, as they signed on Syed Nabi, Maish Maithani, Luis Barreto, Ishfaq Ahmed and Mehrajuddin Wadoo who were all IMG-Reliance contracted players.
“We will continue to adhere to all decisions of the IPFCA and will not loan players for the ISL unless other clubs decide otherwise,” Dempo added.
Dempo explained that the decision to sign four of Arrows’ players had been taken by Arthur Papas, the club's coach coach who had previously worked with Pailan Arrows, a now defunct club.
“Papas was very confident of the players, which would mean cost effectiveness for the club though I was inclined, I shot down the requests as at the time the players had a clause that they would not be loaned. The players were not training and nor were they getting paid after Pailan Arrows were disbanded by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). They were players of the AIFF and they may go back to the AIFF,” explained Dempo taking a hard line.
“Thereafter some member clubs of the IPFCA went on to dishonour the agreement. There has to be a level playing field,” added Dempo.
He went on to disclose, “Papas came back to me pointing out that Mohammedan and Mohun Bagan had strayed away from the agreements with the IPFCA. We then wrote to the AIFF that we were interested in taking the Arrows’ players on loan. Mind you, we also wrote to the IPFCA at the same time informing them of our intentions and our communications to the AIFF with regards to the same.”
“We were very transparent. Our IPFCA meeting came after our letter to the AIFF.”
“As I have said, I have my stand very clear. Everybody needs to stick together. I am very much with the IPFCA and will never take an unilateral decision,” concluded Dempo.
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