Friday, June 24, 2016

Salgoacar FC and Sporting Goa pull out of I-League 2016-17

Salgaocar and Sporting out of I-League
Salgaocar FC and SC Goa pull out of I-League 2016-17
Two Goan I-League clubs Salgaocar FC and Sporting Clube de Goa have pulled out of the Hero I-League 2016-17. In a joint press release by the two clubs the decision was announced with strong words directed at the All India Football Federation's(AIFF) proposed new structure of the football pyramid in the country. 
The joint press release by the two clubs stated:

On May 17th 2016, the AIFF (All India Football Federation) called for a meeting of all stakeholders of football in India, asking for “participation in propelling Indian football forward.” Agenda papers, which form the basis for any meeting or discussion, were never circulated. The expectation was for this to be a vital first step in developing a comprehensive roadmap for improving the state of football in India.

At this meeting a detailed proposal was presented, which is heavily biased against the I-League and its clubs. Not only does it relegate the I-League to a second tier league, but also does away with promotion, thereby replacing merit with a franchisee fee as the primary criteria for participating in the top league.

The ISL, hitherto termed as only a tournament by the AIFF, would leapfrog the I-League to become the nation’s top league, with no relegation. This was shocking and disheartening, especially considering the repeated claims made by representatives of AIFF and FIFA that the I-League was the premier league competition in the country.

Subsequently, this presentation was circulated and comments and suggestions were asked for. A fresh start, taking all stakeholders into confidence, was requested in order to come up with a comprehensive re-formulated plan via a transparent and democratic process. These suggestions were sent over a month ago by multiple stakeholders. The lack of response from the AIFF is telling, and makes it clear that the fate of the world’s most popular sport in the world’s second most populous nation would be decided unilaterally.

We therefore have no option but to believe that the AIFF will enforce the May 17th proposal, which would promote the ISL to the nation’s premier tournament with a “pay to play” franchisee model with no promotion or relegation.  Furthermore, it guarantees the winner of the ISL representation at the AFC level, with the other available spot going to the winner of a tournament that again is heavily skewed in favour of ISL franchisees.

This effectively removes any incentive for a club team to participate in the restructured I-League, given that monetary incentives were never a contributing factor. The lack of the latter was ensured by the AIFF who unfairly sold the rights to the I-League without consulting all its stakeholders. Remarkably, while demanding professionalism and fiscal responsibility from I-League clubs without itself reflecting the same, the AIFF has still not settled dues to I-League clubs dating as far back as 2008.

The contribution of Goa and its clubs to football in India cannot be overstated. Goan clubs, past and present, have won more I-League titles amongst them than all other states combined. Over the past few weeks, Salgaocar Football Club and Sporting Clube de Goa have had several rounds of discussions and have deliberated the impact that the May 17th proposal will have on the state of the sport. It is clear that the proposal is highly discriminatory, goes against sporting merit, is unworkable for I-League clubs and hampers Goa, which is the best represented state in the I-League, the most.

Therefore, rather than waiting for another year to face the inevitable, Salgaocar Football Club and Sporting Clube de Goa have decided to take the painful decision to withdraw from the forthcoming edition of the I-League. However, it must be noted that their commitment to the sport of football will not waver, the efforts towards youth development will continue with ever increasing vigour, and their dedication towards the improvement of football in Goa remains resolute.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mumbai FC appoint Santosh Kashyap as Head Coach

Mumbai FC appoint Santosh Kashyap
Mumbai FC appoint Santosh Kashyap as their
Head Coach for I-League 2016-17 season
Mumbai FC have appointed Santosh Kashyap as their new coach for the I-League 2016-17 season. He will take over the head coach position from Khalid Jamil.

Santosh Kashyap was last in-charge of Salgaocar FC, who finished 7th among 9 teams. Santosh Kashyap has vast experience in the Indian domestic arena having managed the likes of Air India(2010-12), Mohun Bagan(2012-13), ONGC(2013-14), Royal Wahingdoh(2014-15).

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Mumbai FC part ways with Khalid Jamil

Kahlid Jamil's reign as head coach of Mumbai FC comes to an end
Mumbai FC part ways with their head coach Khalid Jamil
Mumbai FC announced that they have parted ways with Khalid Jamil by mutual consent on Wednesday. Khalid Jamil was the coach of Mumbai FC since 2009.

Deputy Vice President of Mumbai FC, Atul Badgamia said: "I would like to thank Khalid Jamil for his excellent work, first as a player, then as a youth team coach and finally as the First Team Head Coach. He leaves us with a legacy of having given several young players the confidence to show their ability on the highest stage. Khalid will always remain a much-loved, respected and significant figure at Mumbai FC. Everyone at the club wishes him all the best in the future."

The official release on the club said that Kahlid Jamil will be leaving Mumbai FC with immediate effect and the announcement of new manager will be taken soon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

DSK Shivajians appoint Dave Rogers as Head Coach

Dave Rogers - DSK Shivajians Head Coach
DSK Shivajians sign Dave Rogers as head coach
I-League side DSK Shivajians have roped in English coach Dave Rogers. This will be Dave's first appointment as a coach. He spent most of his playing career in Ireland, with Shelbourne he won the League of Ireland thrice(2003,2004,2006). He also had playing stints in Holland, England and Scotland.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

India U-17 World Cup squad beat FC Metz U-17

India U-17 World Cup squad register victory
India U-17 World Cup squad defeated FC Metz U-17 2-0
India U-17 World Cup Squad Exposure Tour
Sports Complex Tremery, France
India U-16 2-0 FC Metz U-17
India: Abhijit Sarkar(56th), Komal Thattal(81st)

India U-17 World Cup team defeated FC Metz U-17 2-0 at the Sports Complex in Tremery, France on Saturday, 11th June 2016. Abhijit Sarkar(56th) and Komal Thattal(81st) scored a goal each to give the young blues a fine victory.

After a good start Abhijit Sarkar gave India the lead in the 56th minute, latching onto an assist from Komal from the left flank. Komal Thattal turned from provider to scorer in the 81st minute to seal the victory after his effort took a wicked deflection.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

India hit Laos for a six in 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers

India qualify for 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers
India win 6-1 against Laos at home, 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers,
Picture Courtesy: AIFF Media
AFC Asian Cup 2016 Qualifiers
Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati
India 6-1 Laos
India: Jeje Lalpekhlua(43rd, 75th), Sumeet Passi(45th), Sandesh Jhingan(48th), Md. Rafique(85th), Fulganco Cardozo(89th)
Laos: Khonesavanh Sihavong(16th)

Team India showed their steel as they outplayed Laos 6-1 at home soil in Guwahati in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday, 7th June 2016. Team India went into the game with a slender one goal lead thanks to their 1-0 away victory over their rivals in the first leg but the lead didn't last long as the Blue Tigers conceded in the 16th minute. Despite going down by a goal early, The Blue Tigers didn't put their heads down and dominated the possession. Indian Team were lacking the final delivery and Constantine deployed Jackichand Singh in place of Bengaluru FC youngster Udanta Singh to inject that. They were rewarded in the 43rd minute when man-in-form Jeje Lalpekhlua scored from a Jackichand Singh cross. Minutes later, Jackichand Singh again provided the final delivery with Sumeet Passi tapped the ball calmly as India went into the break with a 2-1 lead.

The second half saw an entire different attitude as Team India went for the kill from the word go. The second half itself saw four goals, all of them scored by India - Sandesh Jhingan(48th), Jeje Lalpekhlua(75th), Md. Rafique(85th) and Fulganco Cardozo(89th). An unmarked Sandesh Jhingan stretched India's lead to 3-1 when his well placed header found the net from a Eugeneson Lyngdoh free-kick and Laos leaving the tall defender unmarked. Laos tried to pave their way back into the game but an alert Indian defense well marshaled by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu proved too big a block for the visitors to break. Jeje put the game to bed in the 75th minute when Sumeet Passi's found the Mizo striker clean through on goal and the chance was well converted. Jeje could have had his hat-trick but his shot struck the left stick. Sunil Chhetri's trickery was too good for Laos defense as he laid the ball to Rafique, whose shot took a massive deflection off a Laos defender, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way and finding the back of the net. Flugano Cardozo coming on as a substitute, scored the sixth goal for India with a thumping header in the 89th minute as the route was complete. It is to be noted that coach Stephen Constantine continued his trend to hand debuts to new players as Bengaluru FC's Keegan Pereira and Sporting's Fulganco Cardozo earned their first national team cap.

India thus won the double header tie 7-1 on aggregate and progress to the third qualification round where a total of 24 teams will be grouped in 6 groups and the top two from each will qualify for the coveted 2019 AFC Asian Cup UAE main round.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Advantage Team India as The Blue Tigers face Laos at home

India face Laos at home in Guwahati
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Stephen Constantine and Sunil Chhetri(left to right) in the pre-match press conference of 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers match between India and Laos, Picture Courtesy: AIFF Media
Team India face Laos in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on Wednesday, 7th June 2016 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati. Heading into the tie, Team India already have an away goal advantage thanks to the 1-0 victory in Laos in the away tie.

Indian custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was in the pre-match press conference alongside skipper Sunil Chhetri and coach Stephen Constantine. The English gaffer pointed out notable absentees of the tie but also stressed on the fact that the team has a lot of competition for places thanks to the number of opportunities given to new players under his reign. Constantine further added that they respect Laos as an opponent and his team should not be complacent by any means.

A draw or a victory for Team India would see them through to the next qualification stage where a total of 24 teams would fight it out for 12 places of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup UAE.

The match kicks off at 7 PM IST and will be telecast live on DD Sports. Also, the live streaming would be available on
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