A press conference was held late last evening by the newly-formed I-League (Private) Clubs Association in Kolkata to protest against the apathy shown towards I-League by the AIFF, FSDL and Star Sports.
The association was formed after a recent broadcasting controversy erupted when Star Sports Network decided to scale back their coverage of the I-League.
The list of demands:
- All remaining I-League games should be broadcasted live.
- More promotional and marketing activities followed up by better broadcasting standards for the I-League.
- AIFF needs to recognize I-League as the top league in the country.
- AIFF should implement AFC’s roadmap for one league in the country.
A deadline of January 5th has been given by the clubs for AIFF, the country’s governing body, to respond or grant these demands failing which they will be taking up the issue with the Indian courts, FIFA and if needed, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The owner of defending champions Minerva Punjab FC Ranjit Bajaj has been at the forefront of the movement and has been AIFF’s most vocal critic.
The legacy clubs Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are not part of the association as they most likely will be moving to the Indian Super League next season.
Churchill Brothers who were relegated last season, but were reinstated in the I-League after petitioning the AIFF and the newly promoted Real Kashmir who supported the cause initially were also conspicuously absent.
The member clubs are Minerva Punjab FC, Chennai City FC, NEROCA FC, Aizawl FC, Gokulam Kerala FC and Shillong Lajong FC.