Thursday, November 24, 2016

Difficult to think of a top league without top I-League teams: Sunando Dhar

CEO of I-League appeared unfazed about Sporting Clube de Goa’s exit and termed it as unfortunate. Dhar was present at the Garden City today inaugurating the Parikrama Champions League at the Bangalore Football Stadium. He added, “We were talking to everyone about the restructuring of Indian football. Nothing was finalized and everyone was kept in the loop. But Sporting didn’t want to wait that long.”

Apparently, few new teams have shown interest to be part of the I-League and now that the deadline has been extended, AIFF is confident of getting more bids. 

Interestingly while the Goan fans have shunned I-League in past few seasons, ISL is running packed houses. If they had the kind of fan base that an East Bengal or a Mohun Bagan or a Bengaluru FC has today, they couldn’t have pulled out of the league. The fans wouldn’t allow them to do so. Unfortunately that kind of fan base is missing in Goa. 

The fans have increased in Bengaluru, the North East, in Kolkata, and also in other places barring Goa.

On the ISL merger, in which a team per state was an ISL plan, however, for a National League, the best teams should play. In the history and fans, there isn’t a better team that Mohun Bagan or East Bengal in India. 

Dhar sounded confident about the presence of the Kolkata giants, “Don’t think there is anyone looking at a top league without Bagan or East Bengal. The discussions are going on and we hope to reach a conclusion. Not to forget Bengaluru FC, who has been the best team in last three years and it is difficult to think of a top league without the top team.”