IMG-Reliance’s proposed IPL-style tournament deferred until next season

The much fancied and talked about two month promotional tournament mooted by Indian FA’s commercial partners wouldn’t see light of the day this season…

The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) commercial and marketing partners, IMG-Reliance’s proposed two-month promotional tournament has been postponed at least until the start of the 2013-14 season.

The IPL-style football extravaganza was originally said to kickoff in the month of January next year however due to FIFA insisting on all the rules and regulations of the same being run through them before it materializes, the tournament has been deferred as IMG-Reliance are still working on the modalities.

IMG-Reliance, through the AIFF, had earlier hoped that the I-League clubs would let go of their players and coaching staff for the two-month promotional tournament and in return receive wages for four months as compensation. The I-League was to be stopped for two months as a window for the new tournament was to be created.

However in the proposed draft of I-League fixtures sent to the clubs, the league would have just one break which is from February 9 until March 23 next year as India would participate in the Challenge Cup Qualifiers.

Jerome Valcke

FIFA general secretary, Jerome Valcke had mentioned last week during his Indian sojourn that they do not have any issues with the promotional tournament of IMG-Reliance, as long as it doesn’t undermine the I-League.

“It is the I-League which would be the club championship for India and there cannot be any other league besides this,” said Valcke.

 “But we have no issues if there is any other tournament run by the AIFF, which helps in raising the profile of the game without reducing the importance of the I-League,” he added.

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