AIFF plays the waiting game
Panaji: No one really knows how long everyone will have to stay indoors. For now, at least officially, it is until April 14 and the All India Football Federation ( AIFF ) will wait until then to answer the next call I-League and all other soccer activities.
Just like the rest of the world, football activities in India have come to a standstill for more than a fortnight now due to the coronavirus pandemic. The last match in the I-League was played more than a fortnight ago and questions are now being asked if a ball will be kicked again in the league. For now, even the AIFF doesn't have an answer.
“At this point of time, everything is postponed till April 14. Once the situation is reviewed by the government and other agencies, we will accordingly make a decision. We are aware of the fact that even after April 14, we may have a problem (in conducting matches) but to say anything at this moment, will be premature, ”AIFF general secretary Kushal Das he said to TOI.
A ball is not being kicked anywhere in the world. In England, home to the English Premier League, the world's most prominent and lucrative competition, the outbreak continues to disrupt football and, as the UK finds itself halfway through the second week of widespread isolation, uncertainty continues.
Even in India there is growing uncertainty. Mohun Bagan are already champions of the I-League with four rounds still left to be played, and there are important decisions to make surrounding relegation and prize money for the top six teams.
The concern is obviously that football cannot be played again this season. These are unprecedented times. Obviously, we don't know what's going to happen. For now, we can only hope for the best, ”said Das.
Should it become increasingly clear that the I-League cannot continue within the next fortnight, the AIFF executive committee will have tough calls to take.
What will be left after for the executive committee to decide. If the league cannot be held to determine which team would be relegated and promoted (from the second division), we have a problem on our hands. But I am optimistic. I keep my fingers crossed and hope the league resumes, ”said Das.
The last fixture in the I-League was played between Neroca FC and Chennai City in Imphal on March 14. The Kolkata derby involving archrivals Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, which was scheduled a day later, was postponed indefinitely.