I-League matches should be held outside major football centres: Baretto

April 14th, 2009 - 10:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) Mohun Bagan’s star Brazilian striker Jose Ramires Barreto felt that some key I-League matches should be played outside major footballing centres if the sport has to grow in popularity.
“Hosting I-League matches outside Kolkata, Goa and Mumbai will boost the popularity of the game. It is good that teams like Viva Kerala have again created some interest in Kerala, which was once a power house in Indian football. It is also very important for Delhi to have a team playing in the I-League,” Barreto said.

Barreto was also unhappy that All India Football Federation (AIFF) was not doing enough to provide assistance to the clubs.

“The AIFF is not doing much for the clubs. Football is alive in India only for the clubs, but they don’t get any help from the national federation. Even a country like Malaysia provides assistance to clubs twice a year,” he said.

Barreto also hoped that Mohun Bagan will win their crucial ties against Mahindra United Thursday to win the I-League title for the record fourth-time.

Mohun Bagan need an outright win and even then they can only hope to claim the title if leaders Churchill Brothers lose at home to Mohammedan Sporting. Mohun Bagan’s away tie was shifted to Delhi due to elections in Mumbai.

Both Mohun Bagan and Churchill Brothers are tied on 43 points, but the latter have a better goal difference and a draw will be enough for the Goan club to become champions for the first time.

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