New Delhi: The AIFF held a pre-bid consultation meeting with teams interested in the Institutional League to present the plan for the competition and understand the views of the institutional teams on Thursday.
The meeting was chaired by Deputy Secretary General Satyanarayan M and was attended by 25 teams – Aeronautical Development Establishment (Bengaluru), Air India (Mumbai), ASC Centre.
South (Bengaluru), Bank of Baroda (Vadodara), BSF North Bengal (Siliguri), BSF Punjab, Chennai Customs, CRPF (Punjab), CSIR – National Institute of Oceanography (Goa), Dravstream Tech Pvt Ltd (Mumbai), Employee State Insurance Corporation (Chennai), Employee State Insurance Corporation (New Delhi), Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (Bengaluru), Indian Navy (Kochi), Indian Railways (New Delhi), IndiaPost Karnataka (Bengaluru), JCT (Punjab), Karnataka Police (Bengaluru), Oil India Ltd – Assam Field HQ (Duliajan), PDC Services (Alchemy Football) (Bengaluru), PFA Organization (Haryana), Punjab Police, Reserve Bank of India (Mumbai), Reserve Bank of India (Bengaluru) and Services Sports Control Board (New Delhi).
Institutional teams have been an integral part of Indian football since independence, frequently winning trophies and accolades by defeating the established clubs. Many great players have come out from institutional teams, adding a fresh flavour to the sport. More recently, the NFL/I-League contained at least one institutional side in its roster every season, the All India Football Federation.
(AIFF) sources said.
AIFF is now looking to revive the amateur football structure and honour the contributions by such great institutions to Indian football.
Addressing the meeting, Satyanaranan said, “It’s great to see such encouraging response from teams across the country for the Institutional League. All such organisations have been doing a wonderful job of promoting football over all these years. It’s nice to see some old faces and old teams coming back.
“The Institutional League is part of our Vision 2047. Thanks to AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey, Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran and the Executive Committee, we are not exactly
reviving but launching a new competition for the sector which has played a major role in the years gone by,” he added.
The objective of the league is to integrate institutional football with the Indian football structure and add value to the national competitive structure. It will provide aspiring footballers with employment opportunities and give a chance for the institutional teams to compete with the top clubs in India.
The Request for Proposal (RFP) document is expected to be released on the AIFF website in early September 2023. Interested teams can apply by submitting the RFP document. The eligible teams will be announced in mid-October 2023 and the league is tentatively scheduled to begin in January 2024. Depending on the number of successful applications, the league could be organised in multiple divisions. The competition format will be decided in consultation with all participating teams.
The participation is open to organisations including, but not limited to, the following – Private Corporations, Ministerial Units, Public Sector Units, Police/Defence/Paramilitary Forces
(Unit-Level), State Departments and Railways (Division-level).
The bids will be subject to a two-step evaluation process – Technical Evaluation (to assess the preparedness of the applicant to participate in the competition) and Legacy Evaluation (to determine historical contribution of the applicant to Indian football). Technical credits will be used to determine the applicant’s seeding for the competition, while Legacy credits will be used to determine the concession that will be awarded to the applicant on the base participation fee.
The base participation fee for the Institutional League has been set at INR 10,00,000 on an annual basis. Applicants are eligible for a concession of up to INR 5,00,000 on the base participation fee depending on their legacy evaluation score.
The winners and runners-up of the Institutional League will be awarded direct entry into the Federation Cup 2024. If there is more than one division, promotion-relegation system will be applicable.
As far as the impact of the Institutional League is concerned, it will help in the positive image/recognition for institutions, additional infrastructure available for football ecosystem, greater employment opportunities for talented footballers, opportunities for players to be spotted by elite clubs, widespread popularity for institution teams and an added vibrancy to the Indian football ecosystem.