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Indian Football Association tells AIFF it will start new league if ISL, I-League merger fails

West Bengal's Indian Football Association on Friday threatened to start a parallel tournament if the parent body All India Football Federation (AIFF) does not come up with an acceptable solution for an unified top-tier national league.

 Indian Football Association tells AIFF it will start new league if ISL, I-League merger fails

File photo of AIFF president Praful Patel. Image courtesy: Twitter/ @IndianFootball

On the eve of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal's meeting with the AIFF in Mumbai, the IFA secretary Utpal Ganguli showed solidarity with the Kolkata heavyweights.

"I am still hopeful of a solution. If required, we will do a new tournament. We will do what it takes to disrupt this arrangement. And that includes seeking the help of our state government. We can't let the AIFF's commercial partners almost dictate things," Ganguli said at a news conference on Friday.

The IFA secretary further referred to the draft contract issued to the two big clubs of the city where they have to give out the rights of their intellectual property to the promoter of the new tournament including the name of the clubs, their emblems, the colours of their jersey, among other things for the next 30 years.

"There is no point in undermining the heritage and history of the two clubs like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal by asking them give out the rights of their name, jersey and emblems."

Ganguli said there should be a balance between commercial interest of the organiser and interest of the clubs to ensure a proper management of any tournament.

"We are in talks with the clubs from north east and Goa about exploring all avenues to protect the identity and rights of the traditional clubs."

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Updated Date: May 06, 2017 10:14:06 IST