Panaji, Dec 7 (IANS) Five-time I-League champions Dempo SC pulled out of the upcoming season of the tournament citing lack of direction from All India Football Federation (AIFF) after disagreeing with its proposed roadmap to restructure domestic football.
Earlier, Goa’s other two famed clubs Salgaocar FC and Sporting Club de Goa had also exited leaving the league holding on to straws.
All the three Goan club owners — Shivanand Salgaocar, Shrinivas Dempo and Peter Vaz — had taken a united stand on June 23 to oppose the restructuring that makes Indian Super League (ISL) a top-tier league and relegates I-League to the second division or “League One” as it will be called.
With the deadline for submitting participation agreement for I-League ending on Wednesday, Dempo wrote to the AIFF that they, too, have pulled out.
In an official statement, the club said: “Considering the high cost of fielding and maintaining a team in the I-League and the uncertainty regarding the reorganisation of the competition, the promoters of the Dempo Group of Companies and the management of the club have decided that it will not be worthwhile to make the considerable additional investment required to field a team in the I-League. Therefore, with great regret, we wish to inform you that we will not field a team in the forthcoming I-League (2016-17).”
It further added: “The decision does not, of course, preclude our option to re-enter the I-League or any new competition introduced by the AIFF/I-League in coming times.”