The inaugural Premier Futsal League, headed by legendary Portuguese footballer Luis Figo, seems destined for trouble as the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is mulling legal action against the organisers.
The AIFF has told the sports ministry that the governing body, Futsal Association of India (FAI) is unrecognized and added that it is planning to come up with a similar event of its own.
A letter sent to state associations by AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said, “The AIFF is the governing body for all forms of football, including futsal, in India and we will be announcing our plans, in relation to futsal, in due course.”
Premier Futsal League is scheduled to take place from July 15 to 24. The news however comes as a big blow to the organisers, who had a broadcaster on board but the AIFF has asked its affiliate members to not cooperate with the league.
“This is to bring to your notice that AIFF is not involved with the proposed Premier Futsal League, the news of launch of which has been making rounds in media in the recent past. The competition is neither sanctioned by AIFF nor is organised under the aegis of AIFF. Further, the organising body – Futsal Association of India (FAI) is not a member or affiliated in any way with, the AIFF, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) or FIFA,” the letter read.
The Indian Football Association (IFA) that governs football in West Bengal, has already informed the clubs and players associated with them to stay away from the Premier Futsal League, in accordance with the directions issued by AIFF.
“Yes, we have received that letter and have taken it into consideration. IFA is doing its best to make sure there is no problem and we have issued a notice to all our affiliated members and stakeholders,” said Utpal Ganguly, president of IFA.
The League has roped in star cricketer Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador.
Futsal is a 5-a-side variant of soccer with two halves of 20 minutes each and has accreditation from the international governing body, Association Mundial de Futsal (AMF).
Eight teams from different cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Kochi are set to participate in the tournament.
(With PTI Inputs)