Bangalore, Apr 30 UNI | 3 months ago

I-League Chairman A R Khaleel today ruled out possibility of increasing the number of teams participating in the country's prestigious football tournament in the next season.

'There is no need to increase the number. We will confine to present. What we want is good quality instead of more number. However, if any good team with proven play it may be considered but not otherwise,' Khaleel told UNI here. When asked about the conduct of just concluded iLeague, he said that he was satisfied with the way it was held and it is good to note that the game has started attracting more crowd. 'We will be having a meeting of the Organising Committee and shortcomings will be plugged. There is always scope for improving,' he added.

Khaleel, who is also Karnataka State Football Association (KSFA) President, was all praise for Bengaluru Football Club (BFC) for winning the iLeague Championship on its debut.

'BFC has created a history. I am really happy, they have made Bangalore and the State proud by winning the trophy. In fact it was over decades ago a Bangalore team had won national tournament,' he added.

Stating that the Bangalore Football Stadium will be re-built as per FIFA Standard, Khaleel said that it was certain that

Bangalore will be hosting matches of the fifa U 17 World Cup matches in September 2017 and the Stadium will be ready six month prior to the tournament as stipulated. The Karnataka government has also assured to refurbish Sri Kanteerava Stadium. It will be used for practice or for matches in case two matches are scheduled in a day.

India is hosting the fifa U-17 World Cup in which 24 teams are participating and it will be played at 6 centres with four teams each.

Replying to a question, Khaleel said that a FIFA team had visited the city in February last and inspected the ground and facilities available. I am confident of Bangalore being selected.

When asked about the funds for re-building the Bangalore Football Stadium, Khaleel said that it was one of the condition for Jindal Steel Works which has floated BFC and the works will start within a couple of months and it will be ready for the U-17 World Cup.

(Posted on 30-04-2014)