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regular-article-logo Thursday, 20 June 2024

All India Football Federation 'cancels' invitation to member associations to watch ISL-X Cup final

AIFF sent emails to all member associations on April 30 to designate representative to watch Mohun Bagan Super Giant versus Mumbai City match at AIFF's expenses

Angshuman Roy Calcutta Published 06.05.24, 09:53 AM
AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey (left) presents the ISL Cup to Mumbai City captain Rahul Bheke at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday

AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey (left) presents the ISL Cup to Mumbai City captain Rahul Bheke at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday Picture by Santosh Ghosh  

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) "cancelled" an invitation to the member associations to watch Saturday's ISL-X Cup final at the Salt Lake Stadium because it would have been too expensive a trip for the federation.

The AIFF sent emails to all the member associations on April 30 to designate a representative to watch the Mohun Bagan Super Giant versus Mumbai City match at AIFF's expenses.

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The letter was signed by the acting secretary general M Satyanarayan and the invitation was on behalf of president Kalyan Chaubey.

"But strangely nothing was heard from the federation after that. We had already sent the name of our representative but there was no intimation from the AIFF that the trip was cancelled. We waited till Saturday (the day of the final) morning," a senior official said on Sunday.

Kindly note that all the logistic arrangements for the representatives for his-her stay in Kolkata to witness the final in Kolkata will be taken care of by the AIFF..." the email stated.

A senior official said budget constraints forced the AIFF to call off the junket. "Economical factor was the main issue. We are working a shoe-string budget," he said.

At present AIFF has 34 active member associations. Both president Chaubey and acting secretary-general Satyanarayan attended the final and were present during the prize distribution ceremony.

If the official invitation was cancelled without the member associations being informed, the AIFF's verbal intimation of an executive committee meeting was called off through an email.

The AIFF verbally told the executive committee members that there would be a meeting in Calcutta to discuss the commercial agreement (Master Rights Agreement) with Reliance-owned Football Sports Development Limited on Sunday. The FSDL manages the ISL. But in a letter dated May 1, the AIFF decided to "reschedule the meeting to the next available date."

The reason cited was that some of the members expressed their inability to attend the meeting on such short notice and Chaubey wanted to discuss "such a long-term decision making (the MRA)" in the presence of every ex-co member.

"I do not know when was the last time that an executive committee meeting was called verbally. And then they reschedule it. Our association is in such a mess. It's not just done," a senior official rued.

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