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ISL clubs request AIFF to reconsider mandate to release players for national camp

ISL clubs request AIFF to reconsider mandate to release players for national camp

ISL teams have requested that the AIFF reconsider its mandate to release players before of the U-23 AFC Asian Cup 2024 qualifiers and the Asian Games 2023.

ISL clubs have written to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) seeking that the request to release players be reconsidered. East Bengal, Mumbai City FC, and Kerala Blasters have all requested that they not be obliged to release players for the U-23 AFC Asian Cup 2024 qualifiers. This is due to the fact that the dates of the tournament and the Asian Games 2023 overlap with the domestic season.

“We have not received any letter from ISL clubs regarding Asian Games. Some clubs have written to us regarding the release of players for the U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers.,” Shaji Prabhakaran, the Secretary General of AIFF, told Sportstar.

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“We understand their compulsions. However important is to come together and look at the larger picture to elevate our football. It should happen through our collective effort and take this as ‘Project Indian football’.” he added.

The U23 Asian Cup qualifiers will be held in Dalian, China, from September 6 to September 12. The preparatory camp will begin on August 12 in Bhubaneswar.

The Durand Cup will take place between July 20 and August 20. The AFC Cup qualifying rounds taking place between August 16 and 22. Allowing players to be released for the national camp would entail allowing the squad to be depleted.

During the FIFA international window, domestic football clubs around the world are required to release players for the national team. However, the Asian Games and the AFC Asian Cup qualifications fall outside of those time frames, putting the onus on the clubs to make them available.

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The roster of 28 players for the Asian Cup qualifiers includes five from Mumbai City, three from Kerala Blasters, and two from East Bengal.

The Federation is planning a meeting with the clubs as soon as possible to resolve the matter. On August 8, head coach Igor Stimac will address the ISL coaches.

“We are looking for a middle ground and will hold discussions with the club(s) as soon as possible. The clubs have been very co-operative so far,” Shaji Prabhakaran said.

“Football in India will grow only if the national team gets more successful. At the moment, we are going through a transition period. We want to make the national team more competitive and to improve our competitiveness, we shouldn’t be missing any opportunities to expose our players and team,” he added.

The U-23 AFC Asian Cup 2024 will serve as a qualifying competition for the Paris Olympics in 2024. It would provide India the opportunity to compete in the quadrennial Games for the first time since 1960.

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