New Delhi: Unimpressed by newly promoted TFA’s willingness to participate in the NFL with their teenage students, the AIFF is believed to be giving a fresh thought to the idea of allowing the Jamshedpur outfit to take part in the premier league.
According to AIFF sources, the TFA has written to the federation saying that its management has shot down a proposal to raise a professional side for the NFL. Instead, the TFA has decided to use their newly recruited wards, aged between 16 and 18, for the rigorous 22-match NFL campaign slated to begin in January next.
The AIFF officials, who feel such a stand by TFA will only dilute the competitive flavour of the NFL, have decided to review the whole situation in the executive committee meeting on July 29 in the capital. Sources revealed that it may even go to the extent of requesting TFA to withdraw from the NFL and may accommodate some other team in the 10-team championships.
TFA’s biggest problem is that they have lost their entire lot of boys, who helped the team emerge second division NFL champions in Bangalore last season. Since the academy has no such rule to hold on to those boys who have already finished their course, they are now left with no other option but to depend on youngsters, who have just been recruited this season.
“Going strictly by the rules, it may be difficult for the federation to bar the TFA from taking part in the NFL,” sources said. “But it can always pull them up for not taking the NFL with adequate seriousness and for exposing youngsters too early to a tough competition which might even jeopardise their playing career.
A section in the AIFF, however feel that short-sighted views on the part of the federation allowed such a situation to arise. “The AIFF should have anticipated the scenario before and should have made a law barring the academy teams from taking part in top level professional tournaments,” said an official. “That would have solved the problems.”