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Insurance cover for entire NFL cast

Calcutta: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will, Monday, ink a deal with public sector insurers United Assurance company by which every player, referee and official registered and on duty in the ongoing Oil PSU National Football League will be insured for Rs 1.5 lakh.

Stating this at a press conference Sunday, AIFF president Priya Ranjan Das Munshi said: “It may not be a big amount, but we made this start in view of the many players who aren’t as well off as some in a handful of clubs.”

The insuree will have two covers. The first is a Mediclaim cover, by which any medical expense (play injury and related medical expense including hospitalisation, surgery), till Rs 50,000 will be available. The second is a Rs 1 lakh sum that will go to any player who may be incapacitated for the entire season because of injury.

The federation also presented the sponsors of the meet — Subir Raha, chairman ONGC, S. Behuria, chairman BPCL and others. They said as of now this sponsorship is for a year, no thoughts yet on a continuation. It was learnt that the total financial commitment of the sponsors has been to the tune of Rs 4 crore.

Das Munshi again talked of dope tests. While he wasn’t too sure as to how legal the SAI lab test would be as per international standards, he said the federation would go on anyway and conduct random testing on any team/player(s) in any NFL match.

Das Munshi also confirmed that Dr Nishith Ranjan Chowdhury of Calcutta has been nominated from India to the AFC medical commission.

AIFF secretary Albert Colaco said the Saarc camp will start in Calcutta January 2, and that the federation executives will sit in New Delhi on December 29 to decide on the fate of this year’s Second Division NFL.

Two rather contentious issues were argued. When asked what happened to the federation’s ambitious junior teams for each NFL team, Colaco failed to give any coherent reply, saying instead, that “teams in Goa have ’em”. When queried about the Calcutta scenario, IFA joint secretary Ranjit Gupta tried to waive it away with a “what will the teams do with the kids, if there is no league for them,” standard.

The issue, they said, will be taken up later and a league will be designed for the kids to take part. While the big claim stays, no commitment was available.

Colaco also said that letters have been sent to all clubs, informing that post-match press conferences have been mandatory. This is in view of the walkout of Mohun Bagan.

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