Srinagar, June 29: With an idea to bring professional flavour into J&K football, the J&K Football Association (JKFA) is launching JKFA Professional (Pro) Football League from July 12.
The league would initially run parallel to main top tier football league of J&K, Premier League and with the passage of time is set to turn into completely professional league.
JKFA has made it clear that this newly launched league would serve as qualifying tournament for the Second Division I-League organised by All India Football Federation (AIFF).
JKFA recently held meeting with five professional clubs of J&K who had applied for the second division I-League. As JKFA can nominate only two clubs out of five, it was decided to hold qualifying tournament for the teams. Later it was further decided to include three more teams as per AIFF directions to make it a proper Professional Qualifying League.
Joining five clubs, Lone Star Kashmir FC, Hyderya Sports, Kashmir Avengers, Downtown Heroes FC and Shaheen FC would be J&K Bank, Real Kashmir FC and SFA. Out of all these only two can qualify for the I-League. In case three added clubs, JK Bank, Real Kashmir or SFA would top the league, the next in line clubs out of five remaining clubs would be given entry.
“As five clubs had applied for second division I League, we thought it perfect chance to launch our very own Pro League involving only Professional clubs. In order to make it a proper league we had to add three more clubs who will not be nominated for I-League in case they top the league,” said JKFA official.
“These clubs who have applied for second division I-League have to fulfill certain conditions laid down by AIFF. Almost all of them have fulfilled those conditions and are now fully professional football clubs. The other three added teams all have at one point or other point played in some sort of I-League,” official said.
The JKFA official made it clear that Premier League is currently top league of J&K and would be held and run as done previously.
“Premier League would be held as planned and all teams would participate in that as planned. As this is launch of Pro League, we would be inviting bids for adding more teams to it. The idea is to hold completely professional league in coming time,” he said.
About incomplete UT League, he said that the scheduled for that would be announced shortly.