Sunday , September 19 2021

AIFF & AFC to present roadmap for Indian football to clubs on Oct 14

By Debayan Mukherjee

Kolkata, Oct 3 (IANS) The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will present the future roadmap of Indian football along with Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on October 14 in Kuala Lumpur.

As per a mail accessed by IANS, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das has written to ISL and I-League clubs informing them of the same and has asked them to be present on that day at the AFC headquarters.

“Dear All, The All India Football Federation along with the Asian Football Confederation will present the future roadmap of Indian Club football on 14th October 2019 at Asian Football Confederation, AFC House, Jalan 1/155B, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at 10 am. You are invited to be present. Kindly confirm your presence in the next 5 days,” the letter read.

It is likely that the ISL and I-League will co-exist for another three years as stated by AIFF President Praful Patel earlier.

The winners of each league are likely to be handed a continental spot with ISL champions getting the AFC Champions League (ACL) qualifying slot and the I-League champions the AFC Cup play-off slot.

Some AFC officials including General Secretary Dato Windsor John recently met AIFF President Patel and Das to have a discussion on the same.

In July, the AIFF had recommended AFC to consider that the champions of the ISL be allotted a spot in the qualifiers for the AFC Champions League. The decision was taken in the AIFF’s Executive Committee meeting.

The federation said that the recommendation has been made in the light of the Master Rights Agreement signed between the AIFF and IMG-Reliance in 2010 among other factors like more substantial growth in TV viewership and in stadia audience vis a vis the I-League and “the ISL clubs complying with the entire AFC Club licensing criteria, including strong grassroots and Youth Development Programmes which have also been certified by the AFC.”

Earlier, Patel assured the I-League clubs that their future is secure and that he will approach the Asian Football Confederation to allow the I-League to co-exist with the ISL as India’s top flight league for the next two to three years.

The clubs accepted Patel’s proposal while putting forth their own version of a roadmap for Indian football in which a unified league structure consisting of I-League and ISL clubs was proposed with promotion and relegation.



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