In times of crises, wait-and-watch seems to be the best policy. The Air India Sports Control Board (AISCB) is following just this.
“The ball is in All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) court, and they will decide about our existence in this elite football league,” said Dilip Pinge, secretary of AISCB.
At the AIFF executive committee meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday, Air India (AI) and ONGC were expelled for the next season after somehow failing to meet the club licensing criteria.
The two clubs were given a deadline of December 31, 2012, to meet the norms of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). However, they could not meet the norms for reasons better known to them.
“We have produced many internationals and many of our players have graduated to bigger teams,” said Pinge. “We do agree that we have erred but give us some rope, we’ll meet the demands. We have tried all possible ways.”
Kushal Das, secretary of AIFF, said, “We gave them a December 31 deadline. So, the committee decided to expel them. There will be a bidding for the two teams for the 2013-14 season. If they fulfil the norms, they will be in the elite group.”
Das also dismissed claims that Dodsal FC from Mumbai and DSK Shivajians, Pune, were the teams in the fray.