AIFF and AFC set up joint task force to plan future of ISL, I-League

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AIFF and AFC set up joint task force to plan future of ISL, I-League

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SportsCafe Desk

08/24/2016

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have decided to set up a joint task force to plan the future structure of Indian football. The first meeting of the joint task force will take place after the AFC Extraordinary Congress on September 27, 2016.

Earlier this year, the AIFF had presented the new roadmap for Indian football, declaring ISL as the top league in the country, followed by League 1(the I-League), and League 2, starting from November next year. The teams in the top-tier will be protected from relegation, which means the I-League teams will never have a chance to be promoted to the top division, even if they win the league. Also, a total of 28 teams are expected to participate in a reformed Federation Cup which will be re-christened as 'Super Cup' in 2018. The Super Cup is also likely to act as the qualifier for the AFC Cup.

Following the presentation of this new roadmap, Goan clubs Sporting Clube de Goa and Salgaocar had announced their withdrawal from the I-League for the upcoming seasons, while a host of other clubs also expressed their disapproval. The clubs had also asked for the intervention of FIFA and AFC in the matter.

With the ISL-I-League merger facing difficulties, the AIFF delegation, led by General Secretary Kushal Das, met with the officials at the AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday to share the proposed plans for the development of football in India. After the meeting, both AIFF and AFC officials agreed to set up a joint task force to plan the future of Indian football. The first meeting of the joint task force will take place after the AFC Extraordinary Congress, which is being held in Goa on September 27, 2016.

The AFC’s Vision and Mission sets the goal of ensuring that football is the number one sport in Asia and India is a very important country if we are to achieve that objective."

“The AFC has been following the developments in India extremely closely. The AFC’s Vision and Mission sets the goal of ensuring that football is the number one sport in Asia and India is a very important country if we are to achieve that objective,” said AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John, reported aiff.com.

“Football in India has great potential for growth and development as was outlined by AIFF and it is important that we get the right structures and programmes in place so that the sport in India can grow – and this is something AFC can assist with,” he added.

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das also welcomed the move and said, ““AIFF is grateful for the welcome and the advice that has been offered by Dato’ Windsor John and the AFC team. We look forward to working with them to achieve the best for Football in India.”

Also read: Does the AIFF's 3-tier plan actually signal a turn for the better in Indian football?

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