The second Airtel I-League Club licensing seminar of 2014 successfully wrapped up at the AIFF Headquarters, Football House, New Delhi, on Thursday, March 13, 2014. Present for the occasion were representatives from the Clubs qualified to the Second Division League Final Round 2013/14.
The main objective of this meet was to give the Clubs an insight into the top tier of Indian Club Football – I-League. One of the five Clubs qualified to play the Final Round of the 2nd Division League – Hindustan FC, Royal Wahingdoh, United Sikkim FC, Bhawanipore FC, and Kalighat Milan Sangha – will get the opportunity to attain promotion to the I-League next season.
The representatives from the five Clubs interacted at length with the speakers from the AIFF on various topics – The I-League regulations and match operations, the Indian Club Licensing Regulations, the Youth Development Plan, and Media Management.
“The AIFF wants to educate the second division teams about the steps and the philosophies needed for a smooth transition to the I-League,” Col. BMR Mehta, Asst Gen Secy – Administration, AIFF, said, in the inaugural address.
Mr. Sunando Dhar, CEO, Airtel I-League addressed the Club representatives that the main motive of the meeting was to ensure that the 2nd Division Clubs get more or less prepared for the I-League.
“I hope you can take lot of things out of this [meeting]. We will ensure that you don’t have to start from scratch when you get promoted to the I-League,” he said.
“You will be going back here with a few pointers, and I wish you all the best”.
Mr. Akshay Rohatgi, Manager, I-League, AIFF, showcased a presentation on the I-League regulations, the match day operations and organisations. His session was followed by a demonstration of the Indian Club Licensing Regulations and the Online Licensing Process by Mr. Indranil Das, Executive, Club Licensing, AIFF.
Post lunch, a session was conducted by Mr. Pushpargha Chatterjee, Manager – Academies and Coaching – AIFF, on the Youth Development Plan. He showed a presentation and cited examples of overseas football Clubs having a rich youth system and a dedicated academy structure.
The session concluded with a presentation on Media Operations by Mr. Debayan Mukherjee, Media Coordinator, AIFF. He demonstrated that the interaction of the fans with the Club should be given a major importance and stated the importance of having a dedicated website. Not only that, he also explained the rules with which the media interact with the players and officials.
Anoop Abraham, General Manager, Royal Wahingdoh FC, expressed that the meeting benefited him and his Club as a whole will benefit a lot.
“I have to commend AIFF for this initiative as it has compelled clubs to get serious about the business of football,” he said.
“This is a good step towards making us all sit up and have a serious look into the way we operate and the right approach towards the same. Extending this for the 2nd Division I-League clubs is also a good move as we look to implement the club licensing in the right spirit.”
The Final Round of the 2nd Division League gets under way on March 23, 2014. It will be played over two legs – in Silchar and Aizawl. Only one team will attain promotion to the I-League next season, and the winner will be known on April 11.
List of participants:
Hindustan FC: Arjun Nijhawan, Siddharth Chettri, DK Bose
Royal Wahingdoh FC: Anoop Abraham, Dinesh Renthlei, Ivan Raplang Doonai, Damang Syngkon
United Sikkim FC: Swaraj Singhi, Melbin Thomas Jose
Bhawanipore FC: Satyabrata Paul, Bishnu Chakraborty
Kalighat Milan Sangha: Partho Biswas