New Delhi:The All India Football Federation's (AIFF) sudden decision to shift two rounds of the second division I-League from Gurgaon's Tau Devi Lal Stadium to the Amity United ground in Manesar mid-way into the tournament has not gone down well with the teams.
On Wednesday, AIFF told representatives of the six second division clubs that they would have to play the fourth and fifth round matches elsewhere since the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Gurgaon has to be readied for the April 16 I-League match between Air India and Sporting Clube de Goa.
"This is most shocking and disturbing. How can the federation shift matches to a different venue in the middle of the tournament?" asked a club official.
The forthcoming general elections have forced the AIFF to shift the two matches in the last round of the I-League from Mumbai to Delhi and Gurgaon.
While Mohun Bagan will face Mahindra United in Delhi's Ambedkar Stadium on April 16, Air India and Sporting Clube will meet in Gurgaon the same day.
But for that the AIFF wants the second division teams to shift base. The club managers protested against the decision but ultimately had to fall in line.
In fact, the AIFF wanted the teams to shift base from on Thursday but the teams objected and wanted the third round to get over.
"This goes on to show just how much importance the AIFF accords to the second division league despite the fact that four teams from the six will qualify for the top tier. There's no point arguing with the AIFF since it will do whatever it wants," said an official of another club.
"The federation is ready to sacrifice six matches for one I-League tie," he said.
What is bothering the coaches is that they haven't seen the ground at Amity United, which is around 20 kilometers from Gurgaon.
"With very little recovery time between matches, now we have to add the extra journey. The players will get even more tired," said one official.
"The AIFF could have at least asked our opinion before telling us to shift base. The players have got acclimatised playing here now they will have to adjust to another ground all over again," he added.