Proposed IPL-Style Football League Comes Under Fire From Indian Clubs
India's top football clubs "have hit out at the national federation over moves to stage a cash-rich franchise-based tournament" inspired by cricket's Indian Premier League early next year, according to the AFP. The All India Football Federation and its commercial partner, IMG-Reliance, "plan to hold the eight-city tournament in January-March featuring as-yet-unnamed international and local stars." But the clubs have declined to release their players for the tournament, "which they say will threaten their existence and ruin the national I-League domestic competition." I-League Professional Football Clubs Association President Raj Gomes said, "We don't think the new league will be beneficial to Indian football. How can we allow players to play for another club in the middle of the season?" Goa-based club Churchill Brothers CEO Valanka Alemao also "vigorously opposed the proposed tournament." Alemao: "I do not understand why the AIFF wants to hold a new league. This new entity will eventually supersede the I-League and cause the slow death of existing clubs" (AFP, 7/15).