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I-League clubs wait for meeting with AIFF chief






New Delhi: I-League clubs are waiting for a meeting with All India Football Federation (AIFF) chief Praful Patel as their fate hangs in the balance.

With the I-League reaching its last lap for the 2018-19 season, the question once again doing the rounds is the much-talked about Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League merger. This is a possibility that has been doing the rounds for the last few years. If some of the recent reports in the media are to be believed, this could be the last season for the I-League. This has created a kind of uncertainty among the clubs involved.

A letter submitted by the eight I-League clubs — Aizawl FC, Chennai City, Churchill Brothers, Gokulam Kerala, reigning champions Minerva Punjab, Mohun Bagan, Neroca and East Bengal — asking for a meeting with Patel to discuss their future has got no response. The clubs that did not sign the letter were Real Kashmir, Shillong Lajong (owned by AIFF vice-president Larsing Ming Sawyan) and AIFF’s own team Indian Arrows.


A senior official of Minerva Punjab FC, a signatory to the letter, told IANS, “We have not received any confirmation about the meeting from the Federation.”

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) constitution does not allow a member country to have two national leagues running simultaneously. This was made very clear by AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John when he was in Kolkata for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

“It’s not a question of what we are favouring. It’s in the AFC constitution that one country should have one league. We just gave provision (for two leagues) for a transition period. That’s all,” Windsor told reporters. “There will be one league for sure,” he said.

While the AFC has already submitted a roadmap for the merger to the AIFF, the implementation of the roadmap is a huge task. All stake holders, including clubs of both the I-League and ISL, have to be on the same platform for the merger to become a possibility.

There is also the Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) issue. The clubs in their letter have demanded that the country’s top league should be run by AIFF and not their commercial marketing partners FSDL as they have a conflict of interest.

I-League CEO Sunando Dhar told IANS that the president is yet to confirm any date for the meeting. “We are yet to get a date for the meeting from AIFF president Praful Patel”, he said.



Dhoni could be ‘exposed’ by Yuvraj’s dad after World Cup




Mumbai: Father of recently retired former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, Yograj has struck again, and all the signs point toward former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

While the cricketer is busy preparing for India’s next clash against Pakistan on Sunday after rain played spoilsport on the much-hyped India-New Zealand clash, a recent video of Yograj has surfaced where he speaks about an ‘un-named’ player who is responsible for the ‘dirty politics’ in the Indian cricket team.

Yograj further goes on to state that this player is the reason that many players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and his own son Yuvraj Singh were not included in the Indian team at crucial points in time.


While Yograj didn’t reveal much about the player he talks about, he did mention that he’d make the complete revelations after the currently ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Based on earlier allegations by Yograj, who was also a former pace bowler, towards then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, It seems pretty evident that he is speaking of ‘Captain Cool’.

“I don’t want to take his name but he has been playing these dirty politics from the last 15 years. He has made lives difficult for Indian cricketers. I will make this revelation after the World Cup gets over. He will remember this for life that someone said something about him,” said Yograj.

“I don’t want to speak about him at this point in time because I don’t want the team to get affected during the World Cup,” he added.

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FIFA Rankings: India unmoved at 101




London: The Indian national team remain unmoved in the June 2019 edition of the FIFA Rankings released.

Following India’s exit from the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup, India have had a change in coach with Igor Stimac replacing Stephen Constantine.

Under Stimac, India recently participated in the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand where a 3-1 defeat against Curacao (79) was backed by a 1-0 win over hosts Thailand (116) in the third-place play-off.


GFX India FIFA Rankings June 2019

The Blue Tigers are set to face Tajikistan (120), DPR Korea (122) and Syria (85) in the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2019 next. India enter the tournament as defending champions.

Meanwhile, in the global standings, Belgium continue to lead at the top having bettered their advantage over second-placed France who also stay put in their position, the same as Brazil and England at third and fourth spots respectively.

2019 UEFA Nations League champions Portugal have displaced Croatia to stand fifth while Spain (7) has gained two places. Germany (11 – tied with Argentina), Italy and Netherlands (both at 14) have also moved two places up.

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Coutinho brace helps Brazil forget Neymar in winning Copa start




Sao Paulo: A brace from Philippe Coutinho handed hosts Brazil a winning start to the Copa America in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia as the absence of superstar Neymar was quickly forgotten.

Barcelona’s Coutinho scored from the penalty spot early in the second half and added a close-range header three minutes later.

Substitute Everton netted a sensational third five minutes from time to clinch a Group A victory for coach Tite’s tournament favorites in Sao Paul.


The build-up to the competition had been dominated by Neymar’s woes, firstly when he was accused of rape by a Brazilian model, and then when he damaged ankle ligaments in a friendly last week, forcing him out of the Copa.

If Brazil’s first-half performance was anything to go by, the Paris Saint-Germain star was sorely missed, but Coutinho’s brace at least silenced the jeers that met the team at half-time.

“Whistles are part of the game, the fans want us to win and play well, so that’s why they jeer,” said the match-winner, whose goals papered over the cracks of an at times disjointed performance.

“We always want their support but we’re focused on the objective, which is the match,” Coutinho told Brazil’s SportTV.

“Whistles or cheers, the important thing is to stay focused and get the win.” Brazil made a bright start and predictably dominated the early possession and chances
But surprisingly their greatest threat came from set-pieces with Coutinho’s corner delivery causing panic in the Bolivian backline.

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June 2019
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