Calcutta: The seventh National Football League (NFL) will begin from November 15, All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Priya Ranjan Das Munshi said Sunday. He however, did not disclose the venue and the teams playing in the opening match.
Talking to reporters in a programme organised by Mohammedan Sporting, he added that the AIFF has plans to introduce a third division in the National Football League this season in which 12 clubs would take part.
He also announced a personal donation of Rs 20 lakh for Mohammedan Sporting but ruled out giving the club a direct entry to the premier division of the NFL.
He pointed out that Mohun Bagan had been given a direct entry to the second NFL in 1996-97 as per tournament rules which left room for such ad-hoc decisions during the first four years of its existence.
“The tournament is now in its seventh year, so I cannot give direct entry to any club. And if I do that, clubs relegated from the premier division would also seek a backdoor entry,” he added.
He assured that the top clubs playing in the NFL will not suffer regarding the release of players for the national camp for the ensuing SAFF Cup.
Malhotra reply awaited
The AIFF was still awaiting a reply from East Bengal stopper Arun Malhotra, who was kept out of the Asian Games squad after failing two dope tests late last month.
Malhotra, who failed the tests in Delhi just before the Indian team’s departure for Busan, had claimed that he was administered an injection by a doctor in Jammu for a hamstring injury in August.
The AIFF had served a letter on the footballer asking him to furnish the name of the doctor and further details within 15 days. “We are still awaiting a reply from him,” Das Munshi said.
The stopper won’t be allowed to take the field till he is cleared by the federation’s disciplinary committee of the charges.