An IPL style football tournament to be run in conjunction with the I-League has become one step closer to reality.
The All Indian Football Federation gave it’s blessing to the project, to be called the ‘IMG-Reliance League, after the League sponsors presentation to the Executive Committe.
The idea is that the I-League will still be the bread and butter of Indian football, the proposed IMG- Reliance League will be played as a supplementary tournament.
AIFF President Praful Patel, speaking to Kick off India said: “There is no real issue among the AIFF, IMG-R and the I-league clubs. I-league is our number one priority and it will remain so in future.
“Through this tournament we are looking for the popularisation of Indian football and taking the game to the masses. I league and this tournament will go hand-in-hand,”
Similarly to cricket’s IPL, IMG- Reliance are aiming to pull in marquee signings,
However the biggest issue the league faces is that so far many I-League clubs have said they will refuse to release players for the tournament.
Patel remains confident this is an issue that can be easily solved: “I would just call these as grey areas which is expected to come up in the first year of any tournament. The league is going to be held for the first time and naturally there will be some issues.
Two members of these committee are themselves club owners and they will talk to the clubs to find an amicable solution to the issues and the important point is to improve the profile of Indian football.”