Subrata Dutta, Joydeep Mukherjee, Ajit Banerjee

KOLKATA: A delegation from All India Football Federation (AIFF) met with members from the Indian Football Association (IFA) after the completion of the Hero I-League Qualifiers 2020 on Tuesday, October 20.

In attendance were AIFF Senior Vice President Mr. Subrata Dutta, AIFF League CEO Mr. Sunando Dhar, IFA President Mr. Ajit Banerjee, IFA Secretary Mr. Joydeep Mukherjee, among others.

The two parties discussed the different challenges faced during the organisation of the Hero I-League Qualifiers, which was the first sporting event to be held in India in the aftermath of the COVID-19 Lockdown.

“The successful organisation of the Hero I-League Qualifiers was due to the hard work put in by members of both the AIFF and IFA, who ensured that the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) were strictly followed,” said AIFF Senior Vice President Mr. Subrata Dutta.

“The IFA was the first state association to successfully organise a football tournament with AIFF in the current pandemic conditions and we look forward to excel in the organisation of the Hero I-League too” Mr. Dutta further stated.

AIFF Leagues CEO Mr. Sunando Dhar reiterated the fact that the Hero I-League Qualifiers served as a testing ground for the main event, that is the Hero I-League.

“Both the AIFF and the IFA have closely worked together to make this tournament a success. However, bigger challenges lay ahead for us all, as the Hero I-League looms large on the horizon,” said Mr. Dhar.

“Obviously, we have charted out the areas that need to be worked upon, while organising a tournament with all the SOPs and COIVD-safety regulations involved. The challenges involved in the Hero I-League will be even greater, with more matches and more teams involved. So we will need to work in unison to move forward together,” Mr. Dhar mentioned.

Drawing a comparison with the challenges that lay ahead for newly-promoted Hero I-League side Mohammedan SC, IFA General Secretary Mr. Joydeep Mukherjee stated that bigger challenges lie ahead for both the club, and the organisers of the two tournaments.

“Just like Mohammedan have to face bigger challenges in the Hero I-League as they make the step up, the organisers of the tournaments will also face bigger challenges in the coming months. But I’m sure team IFA is ready to take on these challenges and make another successful event out of it,” said Mr. Mukherjee.