Indian Professional League to launch on 30 Sep

Ten teams will participate in the first Indian professional football league when it kicks off on 30 September through to the last week of February 2008. Although two sides will face relegation at the end of the first season, the number of clubs in the league will increase by two in 2008-09 and two more in the 2009-10 season. Details are still pending as the All India Football Federation organises another round of discussions with the participating clubs regarding implementation of the various criteria decided for the league. "An AIFF delegation will visit the states concerned for this purpose, the AIFF executive committee decided in its meeting which approved the format and road-map for launching the professional league in India," Zee News clarified.

The AIFF executive committee also endorsed a national team development program presented by national coach Bob Houghton and is considering keeping a group of forty U-16 to U-23 players together for two or three years to provide them better training and exposure. The federation has done away with the zonal competitions and has decided to have age group national tournaments at multiple venues within a state. If this is not possible, the federation may consider proposals for co-hosting of tournaments in two neighbouring states.

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