India's Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Mr. Vijay Goel, has remarked that he will look into I-League champions Aizawl FC's plea to be included in the proposed unified top-flight league.
Aizawl FC, after their miraculous I-League win, had threatened to go on hunger strikes and conduct demonstrations if they were not included in the new league. As per reports, the new league was to include only Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Bengaluru FC along with the eight Indian Super League (ISL) franchises, which irked the newly-crowned champions who would have been relegated to the second division.
However, Vijay Goel, who was in Kolkata for the inspection of the Salt Lake Stadium’s preparation for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in October, said, "As far as the controversy between Aizawl FC and Indian Super League is concerned, I’m going to talk to the AIFF. Definitely, I would like to take their case up at AIFF."
But the minister did remark that he was yet to receive a representation or even an official letter from Aizawl FC detailing their issues.
Following on, he also expressed his satisfaction with the work at the stadiums in Kolkata and Kochi, which he had inspected a few days earlier, and stated that work at both the venues will be completed by May 30th.
"I am quite satisfied with the progress here, though some finishing touches are needed. They will finish everything by May 30," Goel said of Kolkata. "There has been a lot of delay in work at the Jawaharlal Nehru Athletic Stadium (in Kochi). But they have assured that latest by May 30 the work will be finished. I will come back again and play a demonstration match when the venue is ready," he added.
The Sports Minister also revealed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking a special interest in the FIFA U17 World Cup preparations. He will next travel to Navi Mumbai and then Guwahati to continue the inspections.