Kolkata, August 3 (IANS) Officer’s Choice Blue will be the title sponsors of the Calcutta Football League (CFL) Premier Division-A for the next four years, the Indian Football Association (IFA) announced here on Monday.
The IFA, which is the apex body for soccer in West Bengal, has inked an agreement with Allied Blenders and Distillers (ABD) Pvt Ltd of whose Officers Choice Blue is a promiment brand.
CFL, the oldest league in Asia which started way back in 1898, has parted ways with former sponsor Sahara citing payment issues last season.
“We received miniscule payments from Sahara last year. Inspite of repeated ultimatums and a deadline, they refused to pay us our dues. So we had to look somewhere else,” IFA general secretary Utpal Ganguly told reporters.
Army XI, Aryan, BNR, East Bengal, Kalighat Milan Samiti, Mohammedan Sporting, Mohun Bagan, Police AC, Sports Authority of India, Southern Samity and Tollygunge Agragami are the 11 participating clubs in this year’s premier division-A, the topmost tier of the CFL.
The champions will get a cheque of Rs.25 lakh, and the runners-up Rs.20 lakh.
Ganguly also announced that man-of-the-match awards would be given away this time around in Premier Division-A and that 33 matches out of 55 would be telecast live through Star Network’s Bengali entertainment channel Jalsa Movies.
Asked why certain matches of the competition has been shifted to remote parts of the state, he said: “It may be called the Calcutta Football League, but it can’t be kept within the city as there are a lot of football lovers all across the state. Keeping in mind such fans, we have decided to reach such areas.”
Ganguly also added the dues had been taken care of and that the prize money for the last two years out of three will be handed over soon.