The All-India Football Federation (AIFF) on Monday inducted five new clubs for the next edition of the I-League and also decided to revive the traditional annual club competition, the Federation Cup. The executive committee of the AIFF, which met in Bengaluru on Monday with President Kalyan Chaubey presiding over, decided, in its first order of business of the day, to accommodate all five bidders into the I-League, with the vision of expanding the competition to a stronger league.
Federation Cup to be premier cup competition
The new clubs will be based in Varanasi, UP, Punjab, Bengaluru and Ambala-Haryana.
The League Committee of the AIFF had shortlisted five entities that had placed their respective bids for corporate entries into the I-League. The selected entities are YMS Finance Pvt Ltd (Varanasi, UP), Namdhari Seeds Pvt Ltd (Bhaini Sahib Village, Punjab), Nimida United Sports Development Pvt Ltd (Bengaluru, Karnataka), Concatenate Advest Advisory Pvt Ltd (Delhi), and Bunkerhill Pvt Ltd (Ambala, Haryana).
"The Committee, in line with AIFF’s long-term plan, Vision 2047, felt it would be prudent to revive a legacy competition like the Federation Cup. To that extent, it decided that the Federation Cup will be the premier cup competition in India from the 2023–24 season onwards," the AIFF said in a release.
KSFA General Secretary Satyanarayan M. was, upon the proposal of President Chaubey, appointed by the Committee as the new Deputy Secretary General of the All India Football Federation.
India growing in strength at the international level
AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey said in his opening address, “This Executive Committee meeting is being held on a day when the Indian Senior Men's National Team is preparing to battle it out against Kuwait in the final of the SAFF Championship tomorrow. Despite two teams from outside the SAFF region, who are regarded as considerably stronger sides, playing in the current SAFF Championship, India made the final and are going for their ninth title.
"This is ample testimony of India's growing footballing strength. Having reached the FIFA Ranking of 100 after winning back-to-back tournaments in Imphal and Bhubaneswar, it is proved that Indian Football is moving in the right direction. I congratulate the entire Executive Committee on putting up a great effort in taking the correct path for achieving our ultimate goal,” he added.
Fair running of the federation
He further stated, “The biggest strength of this Executive Committee is their complete faith in running the game in the country in the most democratic manner. Perhaps, never before has the Federation been run with so much inner democracy, where everybody has the right to air their views and opinions.”
AIFF Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran said, after the conclusion of the Committee’s meeting, “We had open discussions on Indian Football agendas, especially the decision to inculcate five new clubs into the Hero I-League, which is historic. I am thankful to the League Committee and the Executive Committee for this. Also, I congratulate Satyanarayan for being appointed Deputy Secretary General, which will add to the strength of the AIFF in delivering and improving secretariat decisions.”