The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Saturday recognised the Indian Super League (ISL) as the country’s premier competition during a meeting in Vietnam. The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) proposed roadmap for the country’s sport was also approved by the AFC’s executive committee.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Saturday recognised the Indian Super League (ISL) as the country’s premier competition during a meeting in Vietnam while recommending the AIFF to “open a pathway” for two I-League clubs’ to enter into the ISL by the end of 2020-21 season. The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) proposed roadmap for the country’s sport was also approved by the AFC’s executive committee.
The AFC stated in a release on Indian football’s roadmap, “In season 2019-20, the ISL will attain the status of premier league competition in Indian football.”
Another key recommendation presented by the AFC is to open a "pathway for two I-League clubs’ entry into the ISL by the end of the 2020-21 season, subject to the criteria being fulfilled."
The endorsement comes days after the AFC held a summit in Malaysia on October 14 and representatives of both ISL and I-League as well as the AIFF and IMG-Reliance were involved.
According to the AFC, the ISL winner would also be entitled to a play-off place in the AFC Champions League and the I-League champion would take a place in the AFC Cup in “a package that takes into consideration the recommendations of the FIFA/AFC report of 2017."
For the smooth implementation of promotion and relegation rules, starting with the 2022-23 and 2023-2024 season, the winner of the I-League will stand a chance to be promoted to the ISL with no participation fee, provided it fulfils sporting merit and the AIFF’s club licensing criteria. No relegation in the ISL will take place at this time.
In its recommendation for 2024-25, the AFC stated: "it is agreed to fully implement promotion and relegation into the top league, and the abolition of two parallel leagues."
The roadmap was formulated by the AIFF brass, led by president Praful Patel, after consultations with AFC general secretary Dato Windsor and other top officials. There had been speculations for long that Mohun Bagan and East Bengal could join the ISL but only if the Rs 15 crore participation fee was waived off.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi