AIFF to bring back Federation Cup

New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will revive the discontinued Federation Cup next year with the top-eight I-League teams competing in the tournament, it was announced on Friday.

The governing body ditched the tournament during the ongoing season citing calendar congestion due to the presence of I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL). The tournament will be held in a home and away basis for the 2015-16 season.

The decision was taken at an executive committee meeting here on Friday.

“The committee, as per the suggestions given by the I-league Committee and after consultation with AFC, decided to hold the Federation Cup on a Home and Away basis for the season 2015/16. The top eight Teams as per the standings after the completion of the League would be participating in the Federation Cup,” an AIFF statement said on Friday.

It was also decided that AIFF will adopt a short-term approach for the national team’s development with its immediate target being qualification for the 2019 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The meeting, headed by president Praful Patel, also discussed the importance of a grassroots level programme that “holds the key for the future”.

There was also a presentation made on the second round of scouting for the section of the U-17 World Cup, to be hosted by India in 2017.

A detailed discussion was also held on getting better players for the Indian national team for the U-17 World Cup.

Patel also expressed his delight at holding the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) annual awards function.

The AFC annual awards function will be held on November 29 while its Medical Conference will be held from November 30 to December 2 here.

“It’s an honour for us that AFC have chosen India to host the AFC Annual Awards and the 5th AFC Medical Conference,” Patel said.

AIFF has also decided to appoint an adhoc committee to enable Haryana Football Association’s elections to be held within six months.

The committee earlier issued a directive to the Haryana Football Association to hold the elections at the earliest (not held since 2007) and to furnish the constitution immediately.

But due to a complete lack of response from the Haryana FA, the committee took the step as per AIFF’s constitution.

It was also decided that the AIFF annual general meeting will be held on December 20 in Goa.

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