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AIFF decision on players unlikely today

New Delhi: The AIFF’s annual general meeting on Sunday is unlikely to take a decision on the proposed regulation of not allowing the I- League footballers to play in their respective state leagues.

The focus will be on this issue in Sunday’smeeting, but if sources are to be believed, the general body may leave the decision to president Priya Ranjan Das Munshi.

In Saturday’s executive committee meeting, Das Munshi said that except the IFA and the Goa association, all other state bodies had supported the proposal.

A senior AIFF member said: “The president is likely to meet the officials of the state associations and club representatives in the next few days to sort out the issue. The AIFF is determined to pass the proposal but it may have to be done with a few modifications.”

While some feel that the federation may offer financial compensation to the affected associations and clubs to get its proposal through, others believe it may agree to allow some of the players to play in both the I-League and state leagues.

The IFA is believed to have told the AIFF that it is not possible to run the Calcutta Football League simultaneously with the I-League between September and April as it will be difficult to get grounds.

National coach Bob Houghton’s insistence that the proposal be passed seems to have made the AIFF officials more determined to introduce the new system.

Houghton has told the AIFF that it would be an exercise in futility for him to continue as the national coach if the new system is not implemented. The national team, according to Houghton, should play at least 14 international matches in a year and there should be enough time left allotted for camps.

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