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 September 2014.
Goal had earlier exclusively reported of the tournament being postponed last year in September when it was to be held in January 2014.
All India Football Federation, its commercial partner IMG-Reliance and Star India held a meeting to discuss and evaluate scheduling of the Indian football properties, including I-League and the proposed Indian Super League.
"Keeping in view of the various key factors, including scheduling conflicts with the I-League and non-availability of stadium in Goa due to delay in Lusofonia Games – the committee has unanimously decided to launch the Indian Super League on a permanent window of September to November starting from year 2014,” a joint release by the AIFF, IMG-Reliance and Star India said.
“The launch of Indian Super League has generated an overwhelming response not only in India but also in the overseas market over the last two weeks. Many proposed League partners and stakeholders have reached out to the organising committee with the above suggestions. These suggestions have been taken into consideration while allocating the permanent calendar for Indian Super League," it further stated.
The league was scheduled to start from 18th January 2014 and the I-League was given a three month break to make space for it. A separate players' pool was created for the tournament and the I-League Professional Football Clubs' Association (IPFCA) had decided not to take any player in their teams from the league. Though a number of teams have violated the agreement of late, now a huge question mark hangs before the fate of the other players.
The organisers of the much-anticipated league had already roped in a number of big names from the global football arena with Dwight Yorke, Fredrik Ljungberg, Louis Saha, Hernan Crespo and Robert Pires having already put the pen to paper as the marquee players.
Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish, former Manchester United custodian Peter Schmeichel, and Former Milan and Chelsea star Marcel Desailly had also joined the ISL bandwagon as managers of the franchisee sides.
The organisers, however, claimed that the time will be helpful for the new teams to build up the infrastructure starting from the grassroot level.
"The market is upbeat on the prospect of Indian Super League and the tremendous opportunity it provides to revolutionising Indian football. The bidding process has generated significant interest among the corporates, sports clubs and individuals and the eight League partners are expected to be in place by the end of this calendar year. An early allocation of franchises would provide at least eight month’s window for the League partners to set up their respective managerial team and work on various grassroots initiatives, marketing and community engagement activities in their catchment areas," the press release read.
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