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New league format next season: I-League CEO






Mumbai: “This could be the last edition of the I-league. It is looking that way and unless something happens in the intervening months, we are looking at the last edition of the I-league,” I-legaue CEO Sunando Dhar told The Navhind Times on the side lines of the Elite Youth (U-18) League final at Don Bosco ground.

The I-league started as the successor to the National Football League (NFL) in 2007 and seven clubs have won the title since its inception. Goa’s Dempo Sports Club is the only club in India to have won the I-league three times. Goa’s Churchill Brothers FC has won the I-league twice along with Bengaluru FC and is in contention for the third title in the final year of the league. Salgaocar FC from Goa, Mohun Bagan, Aizawl FC and Minerva Punjab are the other teams to have won the championship.

“Ideally, a league has to be based on the principle of promotion and relegation. I do not think the new league will be based on this principle because of the contractual obligations in the Indian Super League (ISL),” said Sunando when asked whether the new revamped league will be based on promotion and relegation.


“Relegation and promotion may not be possible initially. But, the system should fall in place after some years. The idea is to get a new system in place first and to tweak it later,” explained Sunando.

It may be recalled that Salgaocar FC, Sporting Clube de Goa and Dempo Sports Club opted out of the I-League in 2016 after the indecision on the part of All India football Federation (AIFF) on how the ISL would be amalgamated with the I-League. The ISL , it may be noted here, started as a tournament in 2014 and the eight original franchisees were exempted from relegation. Two more franchisees- Bengaluru FC from the I-League and Jamshedpur FC were inducted in 2017.

The issue of legacy clubs being kept out of the I-league was discussed after the visit of FIFA President Giannio Infantino in 2016 and the matter of restructuring India’s league was left to Asian Football Council (AFC) and AIFF.

As per the roadmap drawn during meetings between AFC and AIFF, India is expected to have a new league format from the 2020 season. Teams from the I-League are expected to join the ISL but the number is still not clear although there are indications that Mohun Bagan and East Bengal could be two possible teams from Kolkata because of the huge fan following enjoyed by these two clubs.

“The different age groups tournaments that have been started since the last few years and played by teams from the I-League and ISL will continue next year. The talent seen on these tournaments has been amazing and the interest amongst all the teams has been tremendous. There will be no different set of age group tournaments,” conceded Sunando.

The Elite Youth League was won by I-league club Minerva Punjab FC who defeated ISL Club FC Pune City.



Rasikh Salam banned for two years for submitting faulty birth certificate




Mumbai Indians and Jammu and Kashmir pacer Rasikh Salam has been handed a two-year ban by the BCCI after he was found to have submitted a faulty birth certificate to the board.

Subsequently, he has been removed from the under-19 squad that will travel to England to play in a tri-series and has been replaced by Prabhat Maurya.

Salam, a pacer from J&K, made news when he debuted for Mumbai Indians in this Indian Premier League. He was the third player from Jammu & Kashmir to get an IPL contract – after Parvez Rasool and Manzoor Dar – and only the second after Rasool to get into the playing XI. He hails from Ashmuji village in southern part of Kashmir, which is often said to be affected by curfew and power cuts. Mumbai Indians picked him for his base price of INR 20 lakh.


Earlier this week, IANS had reported that Salam could be in trouble for age fraud after the Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education informed JKCA that the age Salam gave the board doesn’t match the records they posses.

JKCA and the BCCI soon got involved in the matter and a two year ban was deemed appropriate.

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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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