Three new bids for I-League slots arrives at AIFF

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The All India Football Federation (AIFF), who extended the deadline to submit the bids for a direct entry into the 2017/18 I-League to September 8th, has received three bids from interested parties

Bengaluru-based Ozone FC, Gokulam FC (based in Manjeri) and a Rajasthan-based group have submitted the bids for a spot in the league. The Indian FA had extended the deadline to table the bids to September 8 last week and are now left with three bids to evaluate.

If sources are to be believed then, initially four new clubs — from Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan — had submitted bid documents to be a part of the I-League football season 2017/18.

The AIFF had invited bids from new clubs in July from various cities across the country, including Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Ranchi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhopal, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Malappuram and Thiruvananthapuram.

While the name of clubs from Rajasthan and Gujrat could not be traced, it was found that Bengaluru based Ozone FC, participating in the I-League second division, and Gokulam FC, who are based in Malappuram in Kerala, were interested to play in the country’s premier division, winners of which will get a chance to play in the AFC Champions League play-off.

The AIFF had rejected the initital bids from Gokulam FC, Ozone FC and another Rajasthan-based group early last month because of incomplete and unsatisfactory bids.

The governing body went on to invite bids again and Gokulam FC and Ozone FC have re-submitted their bids while the third bid was submitted by another Rajasthan-based group.

The shutdown of DSK Shivajians, who have had financial problems relating to payment of players, and the exit of Bengaluru FC from the I-League scenario has left the nation’s premier division with just 8 teams.

Therefore, the AIFF is expected to select only one side from these three bids which they have received on Friday as the ruling body of Indian football had earlier decided to re-instate their Arrows Project which will see a team comprising of the youngsters participating at the highest level.

AIFF’s Bid Evaluation Committee is now set to meet on 15th September in New Delhi to take stock of the three bids and select the bid(s) worthy of a direct entry into the I-League.