AIFF Passes Rs 134 Crore Budget, Conference System Most Likely To Be Introduced In Upcoming I-League
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Tuesday passed a budget of Rs 134 crore -- an increase of nearly 50 crore from last year -- for 2023-24 during its Annual General Meeting in Bengaluru
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Tuesday passed a budget of Rs 134 crore -- an increase of nearly 50 crore from last year -- for 2023-24 during its Annual General Meeting in Bengaluru. The AIFF budget for 2022-23 was Rs 87 crore, which its general secretary Shaji Prabhakaran had termed "meagre" for a big country like India. "Yes, we passed a budget of Rs 134 crore (a raise of exactly 54 percent) for 2023-24 financial year. Last year's budget was Rs 87 crore," AIFF's finance committee chairman Menla Ethenpa told PTI.
Ethenpa, who is also the Sikkim Football Association president, attended the AGM, the first under the new dispensation led by president Kalyan Chaubey. He took charge in September last year.
The AGM also approved the appointment of a statutory auditor to audit the accounts of the federation and the financial statements and audit reports of 2022-23.
Representatives from 34 member state associations and two affiliate members -- Railways Sports Promotion Board and Services Sports Control Board -- attended the AGM. Observers from FIFA, AFC and IOA, as well as a representative of AIFF marketing partners FSDL, were also present.
Prabhakaran had earlier complained that the AIFF budget was too low and it should be increased manifold.
Prabhakaran also said that the upcoming I-League season (2023-24) will most likely see a conference style competition like the one in the USA.
"We will discuss with the I-League teams very soon and then take a final decision. But I feel it (conference style I-League) should start from the upcoming season," he said on Tuesday.
"We have decided to induct five new teams to I-League but there are formalities to be completed. They have to fulfil certain criteria (Club Licensing Criteria)," he added.
Under the conference system, the teams could be divided into two conferences. Each conference will be made up of teams which are in geographical proximity. The teams in each conference will play home and away and the top four from both groups will compete for the title. The remaining teams will engage in a battle to avoid relegation.
This could reduce the operational cost of the clubs as they will not need to travel too far to play away matches.
Prabhakaran had last month said that the I-League needs restructuring so that smaller clubs can survive by cutting down their players' travel and accommodation cost.
He had said if the money spent on logistics is reduced, clubs with less budget will survive and that will also help in the I-League having more teams across the country.
"The clubs should not put 80 per cent of their money on logistics. Currently, it's only 20 per cent, which is going to football, the remaining is going to logistics. It can't be like this," Prabhakaran had told PTI.
"We have to see how we can reduce the cost of operation of clubs. The idea is not to reduce the budget, but that budget should not be used as cost for flying and for hotel. It could be used for the ground to create a better product."