AIFF chief's meeting with I-League clubs put on hold

By Jagannath Chatterjee

New Delhi, Apr 15 (IANS): All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel was expected to meet the seven I-League clubs - Quess East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Minerva Punjab FC, Aizawl FC, NEROCA FC, Gokulam FC and Churchill Brothers - between April 10 and 15, but that has now been postponed and no date has been decided as of yet.

Speaking to IANS, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said that the meeting has been postponed. "For the time it has been postponed. A new date may be decided on," he said.

Officials of the unified I-League clubs have also informed IANS that they are yet to hear from the AIFF about the proposed meeting.

Earlier, during the agitation of the I-League clubs, Das had written to them saying: "I am sending this communication on behalf of Patel. He will meet the clubs to discuss the road map for Indian football as communicated to me by the clubs on 20th March between 10th to 15th April (tentatively 14th April)."

In fact, after being nominated into the FIFA council, Patel had himself told IANS that he will not break the promise of meeting the clubs. "We will find a solution to the problem. The work is in progress. You should know, I am in the middle of elections. I have national election in hand and till today had this FIFA election. I promised to meet them (the clubs) after 11th. I will meet them. I have already told them about it," he had said.

The AIFF boss had said that Indian football would remain his biggest priority despite being elected to FIFA. "My responsibility is Indian football. This position I have gained today would be also to use and help Indian football. I have to use this opportunity to take it to greater heights," he had said.

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