The cancellation of the remaining I-League fixtures of the 2019-20 season is expected on April 16, post which Mohun Bagan will be officially announced as the champions (Pic: AIFF).
With the national lockdown extended till May 3, keeping in mind public safety during the coronavirus pandemic, the postponed I-League matches are now set to be cancelled. In the wake of this decision, Mohun Bagan will be crowned I-League champions, having secured the title with four rounds left in the competition.
A top official of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) said a formal decision to cancel the remaining 28 I-League matches is expected to be taken in a video conference meeting on April 16.
Also Read | Kerala’s Sports System Adds Massive Volunteer Base to Covid-19
Deciding the second and third place as well as the team to be relegated to the Second Division are certain issues which need to be sorted out. If the remaining matches are to be cancelled, The AIFF will also have to make a decision on the likely split of the prize money among the second and third place.
However, there is a possibility that the AIFF may also opt not to relegate any team to the second division considering the current situation.
International Football May Not Return Until 2021
FIFA vice president, Victor Montagliani said that most international football matches might not be played until 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic travel restrictions and the need to give club competitions the chance to resume.
As FIFA continues to cancel international matches due to be played in March and June, Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football’s (CONCACAF) president Montagliani believes termination of the October and November windows for national team matches is very likely.
“I think that might be a bit of a challenge, not so much because of just the health issues around the world and the various degrees of preparedness, but also committing to international travel as soon as we come back,” he was quoted by the Associated Press.
“I think that domestic football is a priority. September is still in the books, but I would garner to say that I’m not sure it’s there on solid ground the way things are trending right now.” He added.
AFC Extends Postponement
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Tuesday decided to postpone all football matches and competitions scheduled to take place in May and June until further notice following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Also Read | Locked, Stocked and No Smoking Barrels: How Indian Shooters are Faring in Covid-19 Uncertainty
The AFC said in a statement “Following the continued preventive measures and travel restrictions put in place by several Governments, the AFC has decided today to postpone all matches and competitions scheduled to take place in May and June until further notice.
“The latest decision reinforces the AFC’s commitment to ensure the safety and wellbeing of players, participating teams, officials, fans and all stakeholders,” it added.
The AFC has also lauded the All India football Federation (AIFF) along with Indian footballers for their contribution in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
AFC stated in a press release “The All India Football Federation (AIFF), the Guam Football Association (GFA), the J League and the Wuhan Football Association have helped by giving donations, promoting public awareness messages and opening training centres to house medical teams.”
Furthermore, the statement lauded certain “...players from India - Pritam Kotal, Pronoy Halder, Prabir Das and Arindam Bhattacharjee [who] have contributed a combined total of Rs 145,000 to various charities and donated food, and organised feeding the poor programmes in the country.”
Southampton Wage Deferral
Southampton vice captain James Ward-Prowse said the club players and senior staff accepted wage deferrals in order to protect the club and repay their community without being pressured to do so.
They were the first club in the Premier League to announce that players and coaching staff would defer parts of their salary for April, May and June.
Also Read | An Irrelevant, Sad Stade of Existence Beckons Cricket
“It was never about doing it quickly or facing any pressure,” Porwse said in an interview with the BBC, “It was about making sure we made the right decision for the people and the community and we definitely have done that.”
“We wanted to make a good, mature, calculated decision on what was needed. It wasn’t done for a ‘well done, you’re the first club to do it’. It was done out of thinking ahead and thinking what is best for the club and the community,” he said.
Footballers continue to face pressure to accept wage cuts as the Premier League remains suspended.
FC Barcelona Restructure Board
FC Barcelona plans to take legal action against former Vice President Emili Rousaud after he accused the club management of corruption while submitting his resignation with five other board members last week.
In response to those accusations, Barcelona said in an official statement “In the face of grave and unfounded allegations made by Emili Rousaud, the club’s former vice-president, in a number of media interviews, the board of directors categorically denies any action that could be described as corruption and have agreed to bring the corresponding criminal action accordingly.”
The statement added, “The Board of Directors have agreed that, once the audit is completed, it will analyze the content and conclusions derived from it, publish them, and will make their decisions and take appropriate measures based on their final result,”
Hours after that statement, Barcelona moved to restructure their board and approved the appointments of Jordi Moix as vice president for economic and equity, Pau Vilanova as institutional vice president, Oriol Tomas as vice president of the commercial area, Marta Plana as board secretary, and David Bellver as treasurer.
Read more sports stories from Newsclick