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Fransa's inclusion in NFL a mistake: AFC

April 04, 2006 21:37 IST

Coming down heavily on the confrontational attitude of Goa club Fransa Pax, the Asian Football Confederation said teams that do not follow professional principles should not form part of the National League.

"It was a mistake to invite Fransa to play in the National Football League. Such clubs claim to be professional but conduct themselves as amateur outfits," AFC secretary-general Peter Vellappan said in Delhi on Tuesday.

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Fransa president Micky Pacheco reportedly disbanded his team after the All India Football Federation's disciplinary committee awarded three points to Air India because of the his club's failure to turn up on match day in protest against refereeing decisions in a previous NFL match.

"In a professional league, clubs have to apply to the Federation in order to play in the league," Vellappan said.

"A club licensing system is the need of the hour in India. Clubs have to sign a contract whereby they commit themselves to certain rules of the league. Severe fines and other penalties are imposed if they fail to follow them," he said.

A committee would then vet the credentials of the club to determine if it is worthy of playing in the national league, he added.

Vellappan said if a team pulls out midway, sponsors would lose mileage and may decide to cut the amount of money promised initially.

He admitted that all clubs may not agree to the regulations at the beginning.

"If only six clubs come forward we can go with it and widen the base as we go along.

"Several Indian clubs have put in lot of money in the game but are still waiting for returns. They want to see a change in the way things are run," Vellappan said.

A draft for improving the football structure would be finalised by the AFC team by Friday, after which it would be circulated among the clubs for comments.

"Lot of federations around Asia make the mistake of devoting a lion's share of their funds to the national side. They should instead strengthen the club structure along with the age group sides. One constructs a house from the foundation, not from the roof. A national team is as strong as the clubs," Vellappan added.

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