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AIFF Expands Hero I-League with Five New Clubs, Federation Cup to be Revived

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The Executive Committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) convened in Bengaluru on July 3, 2023, with Mr Kalyan Chaubey, the President, presiding over the meeting. The Executive Committee decided to include five bidders or clubs in the Hero I-League, aiming to enhance the strength of the league. Meanwhile, emphasizing the AIFF’s long-term plan, Vision 2047, the Committee concluded that revival of the Federation Cup would be a prudent move.

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Five entities, namely YMS Finance Pvt Ltd, Namdhari Seeds Pvt Ltd, Nimida United Sports Development Pvt Ltd, Concatenate Advest Advisory Pvt Ltd, and Bunkerhill Pvt Ltd, submitted bids for corporate entries into the Hero I-League.

Starting from the 2023-24 season, the Federation Cup would become India’s premier cup competition. Moreover, Mr Satyanarayan M, the General Secretary of KSFA, was appointed as the new Deputy Secretary General of the AIFF following Mr Chaubey’s proposal.

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Present at the gathering were Mr NA Haris (Vice President), Mr Kipa Ajay (Treasurer), Dr Shaji Prabhakaran (Secretary General), and Executive Committee Members including Mr Lalnghinglova Hmar, Mr Deepak Sharma, Mr Menla Ethenpa, Mr GP Palguna, Mr Vijay Bali, Mr Syed Husain Ali Naqvi, Mr K Neibou Sekhose, Mr Avijit Paul, Mr Anilkumar P, Ms Valanka Natasha Alemao, Mr Maloji Raje Chhatrapati, Mr Mohan Lal, Mr Syed Imtiaz Hussain, and Mr Arif Ali.

Image Source: AIFF

AIFF President, Mr Kalyan Chaubey, in his opening address, said,

“This Executive Committee meeting is being held on a day when the Indian Senior Men’s National Team is preparing to battle it out against Kuwait in the final of the SAFF Championship tomorrow. Despite two teams from outside the SAFF region, who are regarded as considerably stronger sides, playing in the current SAFF Championship, India made the final and are going for the 9th title. This is ample testimony of India’s growing footballing strength. Having reached the FIFA Ranking of 100 after winning back-to-back tournaments in Imphal and Bhubaneswar, it is proved that Indian Football is moving in the right direction. I congratulate the entire Executive Committee on putting up a great effort in taking the correct path for achieving our ultimate goal.”

He further added,

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“The biggest strength of this Executive Committee is their complete faith in running the game in the country in the most democratic manner. Perhaps, never before has the Federation been run with so much inner democracy, where everybody has the right to air their views and opinions.”

Distinguished player members such as Ms Thongam Tababi Devi, Ms Pinky Bompal Magar, Mr Shabbir Ali, Mr IM Vijayan, Mr Bhaichung Bhutia, and Mr Climax Lawrence were also in attendance.

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