FIFA officials to visit India for “One Nation One League” Mission
World football’s governing body FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) officials will visit the city on September 13 and 14 to meet the state association and East Bengal and Mohun Bagan officials to discuss the way forward as to how there can be one league in the country from 2018. One nation and one league concept for Indian football may finally be approved by FIFA and AFC officials, who will be here for a two-day visit.
“There’s a long term vision for Indian football after the merger (I-League and ISL) for this season failed. The officials will meet me on September 13,” IFA secretary Utpal Ganguli said.
A two-member team comprising of Nic Coward, a consultant to FIFA, and Alex Phillips, Head of AFC-UEFA Affairs, is expected to meet the stakeholders of Indian football this month. Besides Kolkata, they would also meet all clubs from the Indian Super League (ISL) and the I-League second division with the delegates expected to travel to Delhi, Chennai, Goa, Mumbai, Guwahati and back to the national capital.
They have also spoken with the officials of Churchill Brothers.
“They met us for more than three hours and, I must say, this was the best meeting we ever had with any Fifa or AFC delegation. They heard us out and we made it clear to them that this system of two leagues must end at the earliest,“ said Valanka.
It’s in continuation with AFC’s meeting in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the way forward for Indian football as the duo are also expected to hold talks with ISL clubs before submitting the report by November. The plan is to have one long league from 2018 since this year there is the FIFA U-17 World Cup starting from October 6. The ISL and I-League will commence from November.