Calcutta: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will consider the state body’s suggestion on introducing a rule to limit the number of matches played in local leagues by star players of National Football League (NFL) playing teams.
The AIFF president Priya Ranjan Das Munshi met the IFA secretary to discuss this Thursday evening, proposing that five players from the NFL teams be barred from playing more than 50 per cent local league matches. The IFA’s suggestion was three instead of five.
“The AIFF president seemed to be satisfied with our logic. We said such a restriction on five players will amount to reduced interest in the local league, which in turn will discourage sponsors,” said IFA secretary Subrata Dutta.
Dutta said Das Munshi has been impressed and will hold meetings with other state bodies before taking a decision. “Also, we proposed that such a rule should not be implemented before next season, since the league here has already got underway.”
The AIFF is also planning to conduct dope tests from the ensuing Federation Cup. Originally, the federation had planned to have dope tests at National League matches.
The IFA secretary informed that the state body intends to field three foreign teams in the IFA Shield and one top division South African club has already confirmed participation.
For that to happen, the AFC-imposed ban on India hosting teams from abroad (following the 2001 Shield final fracas involving East Bengal and Palmeiras of Brazil) has to be lifted. Dutta said that Das Munshi will raise the issue at the AFC meeting in Kuala Lumpur later this month.