first_imgThe three season-old ISL is to be made the first tier, The three season-old ISL is to be made the first tier, with two or three clubs added to the existing eight, while the I-League and second I-League forming the League l and League 2 respectively. The format and starting season for the new structure are not yet clear but Salgaocar and Sporting Clube de Goa pulled out of the I-League beginning on January 7 in protest against these proposals. Two clubs — Chennai City FC and Mienrva Punjab FC — were added to I-League after a bidding process to make it a 10-team league. AIFF chief Praful Patel was elected unopposed for his third term (2017-2010) in the election which was in doubt for a few days after Delhi High Courts stay. But after the HC vacated the stay, Patel and all 16 other office-bearers were declared elected unopposed at the AIFFs Annual General Meeting. The country also began preparation in right earnest for the 2017 Under-17 FIFA World Cup and picked six venues in Guwahati, Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Kochi to host the matches. Despite support from the government, the progress report regarding the addition of new facilities at the stadia and preparation of training pitches has not been without issues. All these will have to be ready soon as the mega event will be held in October. India hosted the 2016 Under-16 AFC Championships in Goa and the national team, made up of players who are likely to play in the 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup, failed to advance beyond the group stage, losing two matches and drawing one. FIFA chief Gianni Infantino made a brief visit to the country, the first after taking charge of the world body, during the AFCs extraordinary congress in Goa. Outside the country, the year witnessed the tragic death of almost all the players of the Brazillian club Chapecoense in a plane crash in Colombia. They were to play in the finals match of Copa Sudamerica, South American footballs secondary continental competition, against Atleticao at the Colombian city of Medelln. It was also heartbreaking year for superstar Lionel Messi as he missed out on a major title yet again when Argentina lost to Chile in the Copa America final in a penalty shootout with Messi himself missing from the spot. Messi retired immediately with emotions high but returned in Argentina colours after two months. His arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo, however, had a great year as his Real Madrid clinched the UEFA Champions League title. He also inspired Portugal to their maiden Euro Championships title, and the worlds top individual football award Ballon dOr expectedly went to him. He ended the year in style with a hat-trick against Kashima Antlers to help Real Madrid clinch the Club World Club trophy in Japan. PTI PDS PM PMadvertisementlast_img read more