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AIFF clear Bayern match

March 24, 2008 20:27 IST

The All India Football Federation on Monday gave the green signal for the May 27 exhibition tie between Mohun Bagan and German giants Bayern Munich in Kolkata, but refused to release the Bagan players called for national duty.

Stating that the match clashed with the Indian team's camp ahead of the SAFF Championship in the Maldivian capital of Male beginning from May 30, AIFF president Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told newspersons here that the organisers should have sought permission from the Federation before proceeding for discussions with Bayern.

"I spoke with match organisers (Bengal Peerless Managing Director) Kumar Shankar Bagchi. He conceded he did not know the regulations. He was also not aware of the national football calendar," Dasmunsi said.

"But we do not want the match to be cancelled. Apart from the participation of such a famed outfit like Bayern, I hear it will also be the last professional match for German soccer legend Oliver Kahn. So, the match is on," he said.

The AIFF chief said those Bagan players taking part in the national camp would not be released for the match.

"National duty is foremost. We cannot compromise on that." He also said the match would be conducted by the IFA.

"We've asked Bengal Peerless to reveal the contents of the contract to us, either publicly or in camera," Dasmunsi said.

Dasmunsi said as per FIFA regulations, any person or organisation planning to host any such match has to fulfil four conditions.

"The national association of the visiting team has to be intimated. The financial terms and conditions have to be transparent. The commercial side -- whether the match is being organised for charitable purposes, or for a social cause or purely for commercial considerations -- has to be intimated to the host country's soccer parent body.

"Fourthly, the national and state associations have to be intimated in advance. This is because if there is any complaint or mishap then the matter has to be handled by the national body. The visiting team  may file a complaint with FIFA that they have not been paid the contractual amount. Then AIFF will have to take up the matter," he said.

Meanwhile, Dasmunsi said the foundation stone-laying ceremony for AIFF's proposed academy in Margao in Goa would be held soon.

The academy, spread over 30 acres, has faced a roadblock with local people protesting against its construction by acquiring agricultural land.

But Dasmunsi exuded confidence that the Goa government, which is dealing with the issue, would be able to find a solution soon.

He said the India junior under-17 side would go on for a preparatory trip to USA, Portugal and Germany ahead of the final round of the Asian tournament in September.

To a query, Dasmunsi said there has been no change in the I-league regulations, as per which the last two teams stand demoted.

"Four clubs will be promoted from the second division, to make next year's I-league a 12-horse race," he said.

Dasmunsi said some corporate houses have approached the AIFF for permission to float a temporary team that would include four to five European players.

The AIFF executive committee is now dealing with the matter, he said. Dasmunsi also informed that English Premier League clubs Everton and Chelsea would form partnerships with two Indian clubs.

"I won't give you the names, as it is for the partners to announce the tie-up. But the AIFF will ensure that the tie-ups benefit the Indian partners."

The AIFF would also talk to the state associations to impress upon them the need for a consistent plan for improving the endurance and fitness of the Indian players.

He said the Nehru Cup would be held once in two years, while a plan was afoot to send the Indian senior team to Brazil for a one-year training.

On injured central defender Dipak Mondal, Dasmunsi said the club has already paid him half of the contract amount of Rs 21 lakh, but he refused to share what percentage of the remaining amount the AIFF would pay the player.

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