Goan clubs Sporting Clube de Goa and Salgaocar on Friday announced their withdrawal from the I-League for the upcoming seasons. The clubs pointed to the AIFF’s proposal about the three-tier football system, in which the ISL will be the top league in the country, as the reason for the exit.
In a meeting between the AIFF and their marketing partners IMG-Reliance last month, the governing body presented the new roadmap declaring ISL as the top league in the country, followed by League 1(the I-League), and League 2, starting from November next year.
With no promotion and relegation in the ISL, the clubs who are not in the top division will find it difficult to sustain themselves. Several clubs have expressed their reservations against the proposal, and are blaming the “new roadmap” for their exit, Sporting Clube de Goa and Salgaocar announced their decision to withdraw from the I-League in a joint press release.
The Flaming Oranje, who finished fourth in the I-League last season, were founded in 1990. The club finished as the runners-up in the I-League, known as the National Football League at that time, back in the 2004-05 season before doing the same in the Federation Cup in 2005, 2006 and 2013-14.
Salgaocar was founded in 1956 by VM Salgaocar, founder President of the VM Salgaocar Group of Companies. The club won the National Football League, now known as I-League, back in 1998–99, 2010–11 and also finished as the runners-up in 2002-03. They won the Federation Cup in 1988, 1989, 1997, and 2011. They had finished seventh in the nine-team I-League last year.
With two more clubs out of I-League, India’s top-division league currently only has seven teams in it.
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