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AIFF set to implement budget cuts for I-League and grassroots

AIFF to implement budget cuts impacting various football activities, projecting a surplus despite reductions, with implications for leagues, teams, and development programs.

AIFF set to implement budget cuts for I-League and grassroots

FILE PHOTO: Kalyan Chaubey became the AIFF president in September 2022.


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 15 March 2024 2:32 PM GMT

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has unveiled its plan to reduce the budget for its competitions by ₹20 crore, impacting various facets of football activities across the country as per Hindustan Times . This decision comes as the federation aims to navigate through a challenging financial landscape while still striving for sustainability and growth in the sport.

Despite the budget cut, AIFF is projecting a surplus of ₹30 lakh for the fiscal year 2024-25, a significant turnaround from the previous year's projected deficit of around ₹2 crore.

One of the notable impacts of the budget reduction is on the I-League's first division, which will see a substantial decrease in expenditure by ₹4.02 crore. This reduction could potentially affect the quality and scope of the league, raising concerns among stakeholders about its future trajectory.

With reduced spending across all AIFF tournaments, except for select events like the Santosh Trophy and Khelo India girls' leagues, adjustments will be made to allocations for various competitions. This includes a significant cut in funding for the I-League second division and international friendlies.

Moreover, while the total spend on the men's national team remains relatively unchanged, allocations for youth teams such as the under-23, under-20, and under-17 have been slashed. This reduction comes at a crucial juncture, particularly with the Asian under-17 qualifiers on the horizon.

In a positive move towards women's football development, there is a noticeable increase in allocation for the senior women's team. However, spending for youth women's teams has been reduced, indicating potential disparities in investment between men's and women's football.

Salary adjustments have also been made, with an increase for the men's team staff while a reduction is observed in the budget allocated for the staff of the women's team, further highlighting potential imbalances within the organization.

Despite an increase in grants from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation, AIFF's projected income has decreased due to a reduction in government grants, adding to the financial challenges faced by the federation.

Overall, the budget cuts and reallocations underscore a period of financial constraint for AIFF, which may impact the development and promotion of football in India across various levels and categories.

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