India coach Stimac values I-League, but AIFF silent
By Jagannath Chatterjee
New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Addressing the media for the first time since taking over as national coach, Igor Stimac on Friday had spoken about the need to give equal importance to the I-League as well as the Indian Super League (ISL). But the plea seems to have fallen on deaf ears as the I-League clubs are yet to hear from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with regards to their request for a meeting with federation chief Praful Patel to discuss the roadmap of Indian domestic football.
Stimac raised eyebrows when he spoke about how the tradition of I-League wasn't ignorable. He even spoke about how the two leagues were integral for the growth of Indian football.
"We need to work together. I-League has something that the ISL cannot buy -- tradition. The ISL is were most of the competitive stuff is while most of the young players are developing in the I-League and that is good for me. I will be here to help managers of clubs from both leagues and to give my opinions," he said.
But speaking to IANS, Ranjit Bajaj, owner of the Minerva Punjab FC, said that the club has so far not received any intimation with regards to the proposed meeting with Patel.
"We have not received any intimation from the AIFF in this regard. The only intimation that we have received is for the penalty that was imposed on us by them for boycotting the Super Cup," he said.
Gokulam Kerala FC president, VC Praveen's reply to the same query by IANS was: "Nothing so far."
All effort by IANS to speak to AIFF general secretary Kusal Das -- with regards to the future plan of action and whether Patel will indeed meet the clubs -- failed as he refused to speak on the matter.
(Jagannath Chatterjee can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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