The AIFF could reserve its decision to introduce relegation in the ISL (Indian Super League) from the 2024-25 season despite its full-proof roadmap accredited by the AFC. The lack of promotion/relegation would make the ISL a closed league and the I-League would become insignificant.
Two sectors of Indian football were at loggerheads when the Indian Super League was announced as the top-flight league in the nation, dismantling the traditional I-League from its erstwhile position. However, the AIFF had formulated a roadmap where the promotion/relegation system would be introduced from the 2024-25 season with the I-League being treated as the second-tier in the hierarchy.
But, as per recent reports, the AIFF might withdraw its proposal, which has already been accredited by the AFC (Asian Football Confederation).
“I think they (the league and club owners) are not happy with the proposal (relegation), so they might be pulling the AIFF to take a decision that there will not be a relegation from the ISL,” said an official, as reported by Sportstar.
If the decision does get reversed, it would virtually make the ISL a closed league, while the I-League would hold no significance in the Indian football calendar. However, the concerned official feels that the amount involved in procuring a team along with the possibility of getting relegated at the end of the season might prompt investors to pull out eventually.
“Nobody will want to buy a team if there is a danger of the club being relegated. If someone buys a club for Rs 200 crore and if there is a risk of relegation in the same year, who will pay such a huge amount,” added the source.