AIFF Executive Committee inducts five new clubs into Hero I-League, Federation Cup restored

AIFF Executive Committee inducts five new clubs into Hero I-League, Federation Cup restored

The All India Football Federation’s Executive Committee met in Bengaluru, with President Mr Kalyan Chaubey presiding over the meeting on Monday, July 3, 2023.

In attendance were Vice President Mr NA Haris, Treasurer Mr Kipa Ajay, Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran, along with Executive Committee Members Mr Lalnghinglova Hmar, Mr Deepak Sharma, Mr Menla Ethenpa, Mr GP Palguna, Mr Vijay Bali, Mr Syed Husain Ali Naqvi, Mr K Neibou Sekhose, Mr Avijit Paul, Mr Anilkumar P, Ms Valanka Natasha Alemao, Mr Maloji Raje Chhatrapati, Mr Mohan Lal, Mr Syed Imtiaz Hussain, and Mr Arif Ali. Eminent Player Members Ms Thongam Tababi Devi, Ms Pinky Bompal Magar, Mr Shabbir Ali, Mr IM Vijayan, Mr Bhaichung Bhutia, and Mr Climax Lawrence, were present. Special invitees Mr Satyanarayan M, Hon’ble General Secretary, Karnataka State Football Association, and Mr Mulrajsinh Chudasama, Hon’ble General Secretary, Gujarat State Football Association were present.

AIFF President Mr 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 the 9th 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 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.”

Five entities had placed their respective bids for corporate entries into the Hero I-League – 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 Executive Committee, in its first order of the day, decided to accommodate all five bidders into the Hero I-League, with the vision of expanding the competition to a stronger league.

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.

KSFA General Secretary Mr Satyanarayan M was, upon the proposal of Mr Chaubey, appointed by the Committee as the new Deputy Secretary General of the All India Football Federation.

AIFF Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran said, after the conclusion of the Committee’s meeting, “It is extremely encouraging to see all the Executive Committee members taking part in all the decisions today. 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.”

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