New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has reasons to feel happy. At last. The club alliance formed to “fight” the “injustice” meted out to them by the national body seems to have shrunken further. If the sources are to be believed, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are now reluctant participants in the group. football news
The suspicion was always there though vehemently denied by officials of all six clubs. There was, however, further confirmation on Tuesday evening. The club officials were in the capital to chalk out a strategy on the proposed legal battle against AIFF. football news
Officials of Churchill Brothers, Minerva FC, Gokulam FC and Aizawl FC were present. There was no sign of the two Kolkata clubs. East Bengal claimed they did send a message expressing their inability to attend. Mohun Bagan maintained a golden silence.
The two century old clubs are not ready to talk. For obvious reasons. But there are people in Indian football, who always love to do the taking. Even on behalf of others. According to them, the “firebrand” officials of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are allegedly working overtime to join the franchise league bandwagon. Sooner or later.
Hence the latest attempt to keep a safe distance from the I-League club alliance. football news
“The two Kolkata clubs have met the franchise league officials in Mumbai and Kolkata recently. More than once and separately. Mohun Bagan were first to meet, followed by East Bengal. Then a senior official of the franchise league flew in to Kolkata for some other work. There were more meetings,” confirmed a senior official.
What exactly transpired in the meetings is not known. But it was something more than exchanging pleasantries. Sources said both clubs made it clear they were not against joining ISL. One of them would love to see it happen immediately. The other is ready to wait, to weigh the pros and cons. The approach is different, but they are looking for the same result.
Not that they receive any definite assurance. But century-old experience has made them learn that patience is a virtue.
Going by the latest development, the AIFF must receive a compliment. At least a left-handed one. In July, when it bowed to the wishes of the franchise league and virtually made I-League a non-entity, it knew it was in no danger. The rebellion will die down soon. The bigger the tradition of a club, the faster it will crawl back!
I-League club officials are not ready to accept their alliance is as fragile as an egg. “We have no reason to believe our unity has been broken. It is intact. We are in regular touch with each other. Just because some people did not turn up for one meeting does not mean they have deserted the group,” claimed one of them.
Well, not many in Indian football is ready to buy the theory. Big brothers have left you in the lurch, they say. With a hearty laugh.