Tuesday, May 17, 2022

I-League live: I-League starts with controversy, Rajasthan United name only 9 players against RoundGlass Punjab with no subs, now AIFF responds: Follow live updates

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I-League 2021-22 Live: Rajasthan United Football Club had created history when they became the first club from the state of Rajasthan to reach the I-League. They did so after winning the I-League Qualifiers, that too in their very first attempt. Many football fans were looking forward to watching the new team battle it out with the country’s top sides, but issues with the All India Football Federation with regards to registering players has led to a major problem. Now on the day of their debut, Rajasthan have been left in a predicament with only nine players available to field. Follow I-League live updates on InsideSport.IN

Also read: I-League 2021-22 LIVE: After 21 years wait little known Kenkre FC ready to realize dream of playing in I-League, check out

Ahead of Sunday’s match against RoundGlass Punjab FC, the team issued a statement detailing the problem and how the situation came to pass.

“RUFC qualified for the I-league on the basis of winning the qualifiers in October this year. An extended qualifiers season meant that the club couldn’t sign new players after qualifying for the I-league since registration had already closed for the players,” the club said in a statement.

I-League live: I-League starts with controversy, Rajasthan United name only 9 players against RoundGlass Punjab with no subs, now AIFF responds: Follow live updates

As big as an achievement the qualification was, it also left the club with very little time to prepare and put together a competitive team for the same. We retained minimal players from the qualifiers and sought to get better players for the higher league – seeing as the competition is undoubtedly higher.

“With the transfer window for the professional players closed (In Fact, before the qualifiers itself on August 31). This meant registering players would be tough, and all the transfers could only resume in the new year (From January 1).”

According to Rajasthan United, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) had issued a statement citing that the teams who cannot sign new players must field amateur players until December 31. But the plans of the newly-promoted club were jeopardized after a new guideline from the AIFF.

“The statement said that amateur players signed on or before August 31 would be allowed to play in the league.”

I-League live: I-League starts with controversy, Rajasthan United name only 9 players against RoundGlass Punjab with no subs, now AIFF responds: Follow live updates

It came as a significant shock to RUFC as they have already registered a majority of their players as amateurs, following the initial statement.

“The RUFC requested the league to consider postponing the fixture to help avoid the embarrassment this would cause not just the club but also the league, our opponent, and Indian football overall,” read the RUFC press release.

The AIFF then went on to clarify their stand regarding the confusion over the registration and participation of amateur players in the I-League. As per the AIFF Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players 2021 (AIFF RSTP) amateur players may only participate in professional competitions (i.e., the Hero I-League) should such amateur players be registered in the professional registration window.

“Earlier this year a decision was taken that only professional players would be allowed to participate in the Hero I-League 2021-22. However, keeping in mind the clubs being promoted from the 2nd division, the League committee created an exception to allow the participation of amateur players till the 31st of December 2021 if they were already registered with such clubs in a professional registration period as per the AIFF RSTP.

Following the recommendation of the League Committee, the matter was referred to the Players Status & Registration, and the Legal departments for their necessary inputs, who acted as per the statutes of the RSTP.

It is pertinent to note that FIFA has approved the AIFF RSTP. In this regard, the AIFF is bound to respect its own rules which are in consonance with the FIFA RSTP. Therefore, the AIFF is not in a position to allow any amateur players registered outside the professional registration window to take the field for the Hero I-League 2021-22 till they sign professional contracts and register themselves as professionals in the second transfer window of the 2021-22 season which opens on January 1, 2022,” the statement read.

It did not stop there as the club had requested the opposition, RoundGlass Punjab to help them and allow the fixture to be postponed. But Punjab did not relent and instead insisted on playing on.

I-League live: I-League starts with controversy, Rajasthan United name only 9 players against RoundGlass Punjab with no subs, now AIFF responds: Follow live updates

Also we can clearly see that sportsman spirit is only left to be discussed on social media and books. But when it comes to the field, it’s a totally different ball game. Our opponents could have respected the matter and had the willingness to play this match on a layer date. This is all about being in the right frame with dignity for being a big professional football club. A simple option would obviously be to forfeit our opening fixture and play on from Game 2 (which occurs once the transfer window reopens) but it is something out philosophy will not allow,” the statement further read.

I-League: Rajasthan United tried to appeal to RoundGlass Punjab regarding postponing the fixture but to no avail
I-League: Rajasthan United tried to appeal to RoundGlass Punjab regarding postponing the fixture but to no avail
As things stand, the RUFC will take the ground with only nine players. The way they put up their team sheet was another dig at the AIFF and the league.

Rajasthan United FC formerly known as the Jaipur Engineering College and Research Centre FC was founded in 2018. Turning a college team into an I-League set up in just three years required a lot of work and most importantly a driving motivation. Rajasthan United FC won the I-League qualifiers this year to pave their way into India’s top tiers.
I-League live: I-League starts with controversy, Rajasthan United name only 9 players against RoundGlass Punjab with no subs, now AIFF responds: Follow live updates
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