Blow for Premier Futsal, Luis Figo pulls out citing payment issues

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In a worst blow to the Premier Futsal League, the President and the face of the event Luis Figo has pulled out of the event. Portuguese footballing legend Figo resigned as the President of Premier Futsal on Tuesday. Figo, who had been associated with the multi-national Futsal league right from its inception in 2016, cited breach of contract as the reason for his resignation.

A statement released by Figo on Monday read, “I would like to announce that starting from today I am no longer the Honorary President of Premier Futsal having ceased my relationship with Premier Futsal Management (p) Limited.

“After two years of intense collaboration, I’ve decided to leave the project having in mind the complete failure of their representatives and officers to fulfil the agreement and, most important for their continuous breach of their obligations towards me and other players involved in the project.”

“Nevertheless, I wish to reaffirm my continuing support for the long-term development of the game of futsal.”

Premier Futsal CEO Abhinandan Subramanian clarified that the league had kept Figo informed about the monetary challenges being faced and claimed that except for the final payment, every financial obligation towards the former Real Madrid footballer was fulfilled.

“We had a few financial issues due to a hostile environment that was created for us to operate under and monetization became difficult because of the various hurdles.

“Figo is aware of all of the above and the reasons behind it, and he’s been kept informed completely. He’s been engaged for over 2 years as president and we’ve honoured all obligations including his quarterly salaries during this period except the final payment delay.

“We respect his decision and thank him for the support over the years where he stood by three young entrepreneurs with a dream to do big things and contribute to the Indian sports ecosystem. We will be announcing our new president and the dates for the next edition soon. Next season onwards, Premier Futsal will have a longer season with more venues.”

Premier Futsal, a multi-national futsal tournament, was started in India in 2016. Some of the top footballers from yesteryears have taken part in this competition, namely Ryan Giggs, Ronaldinho, Paul Scholes, Hernan Crespo, etc. The league right from the inception is in financial troubles with no clear business model, credible franchises or sponsors. Sony ESPN who has been the broadcast partner of the league also was subdued in promoting the league last season. With Figo gone out of the system, the much-fancied league will further struggle to sustain itself in the season ahead.