New Delhi: Four days after the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) decided to disband Pailan Arrows, the I-League got depleted further when the newly-formed Mumbai Tigers withdrew from the league, saying they were yet not prepared to play in the premier division.
While federation officials said they were not aware of the reason behind Mumbai Tigers’ sudden pullout, sources claimed the team management might decide to join the franchise-based new league, to be conducted by AIFF’s marketing partners, IMG-R, early next year.
“The decision has come as a shock to us,” said one of the footballers. “Even this morning we played a friendly against Mumbai FC and no one told us the team would be withdrawn.
“We, too, were hearing for the past few days that our team management could buy a franchise in the new league,” the footballer added. No Mumbai Tigers official were available for comment.
The 2013-14 I-League, starting September 20, is now being reduced to a 13-team affair. Mumbai Arrows, owned by Dodsal Group, were inducted in the league early this season as a part of AIFF’s initiative to involve major corporate houses in the development of the game. Two teams – Mumbai Tigers and Bengaluru FC – were given straight entry to the premier division.