GOAN CLUBS WERE NOT TAKING ANY FALSE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST themselves and gave Praful Patel some piece of their mind. Patel in the Indian Women's League launch took a dig at the Goan team's not having enough bandwidth and said they did not want to invest in football.
The Goan clubs, Sporting Clube de Goa and Salgaocar Football Club said statements by the president are totally baseless and further added that he is not fit to run the federation.
Sporting Clube de Goa President Peter Vaz, said to the The Herald,
“The Goan clubs had all the criteria to qualify even when the initial entry for the I-League was Rs 100 crore but now the AIFF has dropped it to Rs 1 crore.”
“I don’t understand what ‘bandwidth’ means according to Praful. If he means that we don’t have the necessary requirements to participate in the I-League then I would like to make it clear that the initial entry to participate in the league was dropped from Rs 100 crore to 1 crore,” he added.
“This shows that any level clubs can join the I-League and that the Goan clubs have high standard and are overgrown with youth grassroot development programme”
He further stated, “Leaving aside Mohun Bagan and East Bengal there are no other experienced clubs in the league at present.”
Vaz suggested Patel not to dilute football by the adding politics,
“Praful should realize that football is not a game of politics. It is a ball game. He is totally unfit to run the Federation. Wherever Praful has been associated with that particular association or industry has not been successful,”
“Praful is an ignorant person and his statement has no value. He doesn’t know what is important for AIFF and he keeps on changing his statement every year.”
“Earlier Praful had said that I-league was important and later changed his view saying that the league has to be merged with ISL,” he added.
Last year Goan clubs Dempo Sports Club, Salgaocar Football Club and Sporting Clube de Goa had discontinued from particpating in the I-League in protest against the motive to restructure the top tier of Indian Football.
All the three club owners — Shivanand Salgaocar, Peter Vaz and Shrinivas Dempo had voiced their opinion on this massive restructuring they felt could leave Indian football in a turmoil.
Salgaocar Football Club President Shivanand Salgaocar felt that the AIFF has no aim or vision and the federation keeps on going back on their own words.
“AIFF has no clarity and vision. They keep on changing track and then blame others for the same. They change their plans and expect others to dance to their tunes,” he said.
Shivanand questioned the depth and standard of the I-League.
“Top players like Arata Izumi and Thangjam Saran Singh are playing in the Second Division. It just shows the depth of I-League. After the withdrawal of Goan teams the standard of the league has dropped very much,” he said.
Salgaocar blasted the federation saying the club cannot dance on the AIFF tunes.
“As far as Salgaocar FC is concerned I will do what I feel is right. The AIFF changes its statement every other day. One day they say I-League is supreme while other day they say that the I-League and ISL should be merged. The club cannot dance on AIFF tunes,” he said.
Shivanand questioned as to how I-League or ISL matches will be played when the Under-17 World Cup begins.
“When the Under-17 World Cup begins it will be difficult to play the I-League or ISL matches as all the grounds will be booked for the same,” he concluded.
Dempo Sports Club President Srinivas Dempo said the reason behind club’s withdrawal from I-League was that there was no proper revenue model in peak.
“The reason why Goan teams have stopped continuing in the I-League is that the clubs did not find the proper revenue model in peak. It is only for the love of the game and Goa that the Goan clubs have continued for the last five decades,” he said.
“There is limit as to how much one should go on spending. The expenditure was going up, every year the clubs were not finding revenue to that extent. This is the reason why the clubs opted out of the I-League.”