Indian Football: I-League clubs slam AIFF over reduced subsidy

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I-League
The Indian FA has decided to discontinue with the bonus amount that was allocated to the clubs in the 2017/18 season...

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided to pay Rs. 45 lakhs as a subsidy to I-League teams for participation, which is significantly less than what the clubs received in 2017/18 season. 

Most of the clubs had requested the apex governing body to increase the bonus amount or the special subsidy of Rs. 25 lakhs which was given last season. However, the decision to revoke the bonus has irked some of the participating teams. 

Ranjit Bajaj, owner of I-League champions Minerva Punjab, blasted the AIFF and termed the amount as a 'joke'.

"When they had asked me for my suggestion I told them that Rs 45 lakhs is a joke. That is not even 40 per cent of what the clubs pay in travelling for away games. It takes care of just three journeys. And they expect us to take care of the entire season with that amount.

"This is being done so that the I-League dies a natural death. Unless all the clubs stand together and protest nothing is going to happen. But that is very unlikely because of East Bengal and Mohun Bagan," said Bajaj to Goal.  

"The Indian Super League (ISL) is just about the 10 richest people in India who can afford a club. That is not football. The Goan clubs have already shut shop and they are doing everything so that the others follow suit. In fact, AFC have already told that there must be one league in a country. So this is probably the last year they are going to run this league. So they are least bothered," he added. 

NEROCA FC CEO Naoba Thangjam also expressed his disappointment with the decision.

"We have to work accordingly with the budget that has been sanctioned. The 70 lakhs was just about perfect to only travel to nine places for the away matches. Clubs like us who do not have healthy sponsorships will face the brunt of it. It is definitely upsetting," said Thangjam. 

On the other hand, Chennai City FC owner Rohit Ramesh was content that the cubs are receiving at least Rs 45 lakhs. 

"Something is better than nothing. I am guessing that it is just temporary and I hope that all clubs get more in the near future," said Ramesh. 

The 12th edition of I-League is expected to start from the third week of October with ten participating teams. It has also been decided that the I-League will continue during the AFC Asian Cup but matches will not be held on dates that India plays.

 

 

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