I-League to have 13 teams as Mumbai Tigers pull out
The I-League suffered another severe set-back yesterday as new inductee Mumbai Tigers decided to pull out due to lack of preparations, reducing the elite football league to a 13-team tournament.
The decision of Mumbai Tigers, owned by the Dodsal Group, comes five days after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) decided to disband its development squad Pailan Arrows due to paucity of funds.
Mumbai Tigers and JSW were the two teams inducted by the AIFF to play in the I-League from this season. Mumbai Tigers’ sudden move will upset the league schedule that starts in less than 20 days.
“Citing unavoidable circumstances, Mumbai Tigers have decided not to take part in the 2013-14 season of I-League, requesting further for their involvement in the 2nd Division League for this season,” the AIFF said in a statement.
“The Mumbai-based club informed the AIFF that they are not ready at the moment to participate in the First Division and need more time to prepare for participation in the I-League,” it said. I-League chief executive Sunando Dhar said the I-League schedule would not be re-drawn.