New Delhi, Sep 24 (UNI) AIFF president Priyaranjan Dasmunshi today asserted that the I-League will act as the catalyst which will enable India to regain its status as one of the frontline nations in Asian football.
''Club football is the only way forward. Only a strong domestic league will enable India to improve its standards,'' Dasmunshi told mediapersons here.
He put forward Dempo's defeat of Home United in the AFC Cup yesterday as an example that Indian clubs are beginning to find their feet among their counterparts in Asia.
''The victory of Dempo in the AFC Cup yesterday is the ultimate contribution of the I-League,'' he stated. ''The I-League has helped the clubs to develop their temparament and ability to prepare for the big occassions.'' Talking about the infrastructure for the second edition of the I-League which gets underway on Friday, Dasmhnshi said,''there are some drawbacks as far as infrastructure is concerned. We are not satisfied with the conditions at the Coperage stadium in Mumbai.
We are looking at Kolhapur as an alternate venue.
''In the other states, things are still okay. But we are still hoping that matches are not cancelled because of non-availability of adequate police personnel.'' ''We are also looking at neutral venues like Gurgaon and Ambedkar stadium in Delhi,'' he added.
Lamenting the lack of sponsors, the president praised I-League sponsors ONGC for their continued support to Indian football.
''If sponsors do not come forward, I am afraid the future is not bright. We are thankful to ONGC for their continued support,'' he added.
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