Will speak to AIFF over I-league exodus: Goel

Panaji, Sep 26 (IANS) Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Monday expressed concern over top football teams leaving the I-league, promising to speak to All India Football Federation (AIFF) to resolve the problem.

“I will speak to those from the federation and ask them to find a resolution to the problem,” Goel said when asked if he was concerned about the exodus of top-flight teams from the I-league, following the emergence of the Indian Super League (ISL).

Top teams from Goa like the Salgaocar FC and Sport Clube de Goa have already exited the I-league, while former league winners Dempo FC are also expected to follow suit.

Goel was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the unveiling of the BRICS Under-17 football tournament logo here.

Goel said both he as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi were keen on promoting football and other sports in the country.

He added the U-17 tournament, which will be held parallel to the BRICS Summit, will strengthen the ties between the member-states.

“We should encourage such games between member states as that will increase bonding and create a warm atmosphere between the people of those countries,” Goel said.