Reported By: Ritayan Basu
Last Updated: September 07, 2023, 11:38 IST
Mohun Bagan Super Giant are the defending ISL champions. (Pic Credit: ISL)
FSDL spokesperson confirmed to News18.com that the dates for ISL season 10 were ‘created and approved with extensive consultations involving all stakeholders, including the AIFF’.
The Indian Super League will not be postponed and will start on the pre-decided date of September 21, a Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) spokesperson confirmed to News18.com on Thursday.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Kalyan Chaubey in an interview to a national newspaper had said he would urge the ISL to push back to accommodate the availability of players for India’s participation in the Asian Games.
The Indian Super League is slated to start on September 21 with the Asian Games beginning a day after on September 23 in Hangzhou, China.
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“The ISL 10 season schedule to begin on September 21st has been created and approved with extensive consultations involving all stakeholders, including the AIFF. Basis the recommendations of AIFF on the league window, the final start dates were calanderised,” an FSDL spokesperson told News18.com.
“All stakeholders have formally agreed to the schedule’s dates and structure, which incorporates necessary breaks to accommodate FIFA windows and break for AFC Asian Cup. Given the packed football calendar the season schedule has been designed to consider all these factors leaving no scope of postponement of the tournament at this stage. FSDL will continue to work out optimal outcomes with the AIFF,” the FSDL spokesperson added.
On Wednesday, Kalyan Chaubey had said he would ask ISL to ‘put national interest first’ and push back the start of the league.
“I’ll be speaking to people in the FSDL to defer the league by 10 days and start it sometime in October so that we can field a full-strength team at the Asiad. The honour of representing the country on the global stage is above all. The national interest should come first and that’s what I would try to explain to clubs and FSDL,” Chaubey had told TOI.
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“It’s win-win situation for everyone (if the ISL is postponed by 10 days) and cooperation from everyone is required. The clubs can start the league with their full squads without having to miss out on their services. So, instead of September 21 start, get the league underway, possibly after 10 days. This explanation by clubs that the Asian Games falls outside the FIFA international match window can’t form the basis to deny our players a chance to represent the nation on the global stage. One must understand that India comes first. I’ll speak to the club owners in my personal capacity as an AIFF president to release the players in national interest,” he added.
AIFF secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran had also written a letter to the 10 ISL club, asking for the start of the season to be pushed back.
“We very much understand that this Asian Games is outside the FIFA window, and you are not obliged to release the players,” AIFF secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran wrote in the letter.
“But we all have the responsibility towards the country to make India proud… As Indians we are obliged to make sacrifices for the country and, in this process, you have to take a decision by releasing the players considering the National interest in mind.”
“We are hopeful that you will release these players in time for the full strength of team to be in Asian Games and stand with the country during the Asian Games,” Prabhakaran stated.
“We sincerely hope that you will stand with the country and make available these players which would be hailed by all the citizens of India.
“Your decision will take our beautiful game to the next level. We look forward for your cooperation and support in taking Indian football forward and your one step to release the players to be part of Asian Games will once again demonstrate our collaboration in shaping the future of football in India,” he added.
Ritayan BasuRitayan Basu, Senior Sub-Editor, Sports at News18.com, covers badminton and cricket but football remains his forte. Follow him at @ritayanbasu…Read More