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AIFF’s I-League Workshop ends successfully

I-League Workshop

The I-League Workshop 2013 was organised by All India Football Federation at the AIFF Headquarters, the Football House, New Delhi on July 12, 2013 (Friday). Forty Eight Representatives from all the I-League Clubs — the Team Managers, Youth Development Managers, Media Officers and Match-Day Operations Officer — attended the Workshop.

Apart from the Club representatives, a five-man Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Special Mission Team (SMT) led by AFC Research and Support Services Head Mr. Steve Kim threw light on Match Operations & Competitions, and Youth Development.

Besides Kim, the other four Members are Mr. Benjamin Tan Tiong Meng (who spoke on Match Operations), Mr. Ong Chong Heng, Mr. Jose Marcelino Zalazar Carpio (who spoke on Youth Development) and Mr. Mahajan Vasudevan, Head of Club Licensing & Legal Affairs, AFC (who spoke on Club Licensing).

The other topics discussed during the seven-hour Workshop included ‘Referee Matters and Laws of the Game’ and ‘Kit Regulations’ by Col. Goutam Kar, Head of Referees, AIFF; ‘Pre-match day and Match Day Media Operations’ by Nilanjan Datta, Media Manager, AIFF and ‘Stadia Safety’ by Mr. BK Roka, a former DIG of Sikkim Police, presently AIFF’s Security Expert.

Thanking all for their whole-hearted support, Mr. Kushal Das, AIFF General Secretary, said: “It’s encouraging to see such a great participation. I thank AFC for their support and helping us understand Club Licensing.”

“It’s important that in spite of the pertinent challenges, we should never divert from our focus. The Clubs need to come forward and work together with us in creating a better product. The value of the I-League should go up and we should work for the cause in unison,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, I-League CEO Mr. Sunando Dhar informed: “This is the first time a Workshop of such magnitude is taking place.”

“I am glad to see a full house here with all Club representatives in attendance. I hope all of you go back to your respective Clubs with a lot on your plate and help in the bigger cause of developing the I-League,” he urged.

“We plan to do such Workshops every year and if possible one in between the season too. The response has been really good,” Dhar told AIFF Media later.

Dhar’s words found resonance as Kar’s opening session on the ‘Laws of the Game’ turned out to be very interactive.

“Referee is a part of the Football Family but we often tend to forget that. A Referee works in an inversely proportional manner. While his oxygen levels are going down, he still has to keep his composure and follow the chain of See –Recognise –Interpret – Judge – Award – while giving a decision. All this is done at one go and in a split second,” Kar maintained.

He even conducted a quiz session where Participants were asked to judge situations via video clips whether there was an off-side, a foul or about the nature of the decision.

“Mr. Kar’s sessions brought to light that Referees are also humans. We were made to go through the Off-side Quiz and video clips on determining fouls. It’s easy to criticise but one needs to understand the job of a Referee – it’s very difficult,” Prince Rufus, also an AFC Match Commissioner, quipped. “The session was very informative.”

Kar’s session was followed by Ben, Head of Club Competitions, AFC. Analysing Match-day Operations with AFC Champions League Video clips stayed the mainstay of his lecture. “I am sure that soon, Stadias in India will match International standards,” Ben said.

Post Lunch, the first session was on Youth Development.

Jose Marcelino, a former Goalkeeper, said: “The best way to predict the future is by helping to create it. Youth Development is the most essential part of Football. A Club with a strong Youth Development Programme can earn revenue by attracting other Clubs to invest on their products.”

Ranjan Chowdhury, Head of Youth Development, Pune FC was all praise about the initiative. “Club Licensing Criteria is a boon for Indian Football. Youth Development is the only way to progress and we have a lot of talent in India. We just need to tap them. Now with Youth Teams made mandatory, every Club will have focus on it.”

The Workshop also threw light on Media Operations conducted by Mr. Nilanjan Datta, Media Manager, AIFF. The session touched all elements from the Pre-Match Day Operations to end of the Match-Day including relevance of mixed zones and reportage.

“The job of a Media Officer doesn’t end with the final whistle. Against the background of Pre-Match Day and Match Day Media Operations, we tend to ignore reportage. Unless information reaches to Media personnel in time for them to meet their deadline in, the entire effort goes waste,” Datta stated. “It’s a thankless job and we need to cater to all.”

“On a Match-day for example, you need to coordinate with Host Broadcaster, facilitate Flash Interviews, take care of the Post Match PC, take care of mixed zone interviews while ensuring Reporting doesn’t suffer. And then, you need to cater to personal requests as well.”

Furthermore, Mr. BK Roka stressed on the importance of Stadia Safety and general security. “Security is of paramount importance not only in sport but in life too. In Football you need to have your security personnel on their toes all time because of mixed emotions involved in the game,” the former DIG of Sikkim Police said.

Mahajan Vasudevan Nair enlightened the clubs on Club Licensing, which is being implemented for the first time from the upcoming 2013-14 season. “Club Licensing is here to stay in India,” he assured.

All the Participants were handed over Certificates at the end of the Workshop.


Shillong Lajong FC: Janice Lynrah, Habamutlang Lyngdoh, Birendra Thapa, Andrew Suting
Rangdajied United: Arbor Shullai, Shaiwul Malngiang
Mohammedan Sporting: Ahateasam Bux, Belal Ahmed Khan, Bhaskar Basu
East Bengal: Gautam Roy, Swapan Ball, Manish Mukherjee
Mohun Bagan: Abhay Kumar, Sanjoy Ghosh, Prince Rufus
Prayag United: Kuntala Ghosh Dastidar, Kuntal Mustafi
Pune FC: Micky Aigner, Ranjan Chowdhury, Ashok Kumar, Amit Dharap, Abhishek Mehta
Mumbai FC: Souptikk Dass, Henry Picardo, Mayur Mistry
Mumbai Tigers: Ronak Dalal, Jinendra Jain, Mukul Choudhuri
Dempo SC: Mathew D’Costa, Jonathan de Souza, Abhijit Patil
Sporting Clube de Goa: Aldrid da Costa, Norbert Gonsalves, Victor Fernandes, Edward Noronha
Salgaocar: Nikhil Alvares, Elaine Colaco, Sanjiv Nagvenkar, Nicholas Falcao
Churchill Brothers: Watson Fernandes, Danzie Ferrao, Frazer Alemao
JSW Sports: Kunaal Majgaonkar, Srinivas Murthy, Premankur Barua, Bharath Prasad

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)