AIFF proposes knockout tournament for I-League, ISL teams to decide AFC slots
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has proposed a knockout competition, consisting of the top four teams from I-League and Indian Super League each, to decide India’s representatives in AFC competitionsfootball Updated: Jun 11, 2017 21:23 IST
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has proposed that the Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League run together this term and the top four teams of each league then meet in a knockout competition.
The winners and the runners-up of that competition will represent India in Asian club competitions, according to that proposal made at a meeting in New Delhi on Saturday.
Should that be okayed, it could mean two I-League teams represent India in the AFC Cup and Asian Champions League qualifiers in 2019. Or, it could be that two ISL franchises do that.
Mohun Bagan and East Bengal have asked for time. They have been given till early next week. In that time, the AIFF try and get the ISL on board. The AIFF can’t wait longer than that because Bengaluru FC need clarity given that they are playing the knockout rounds of the AFC Cup this term.
No one HT spoke to about the meeting wanted to be quoted because AIFF president Praful Patel has pointed out there several issues still need to be resolved.
But speaking on condition of anonymity, they confirmed the proposal and said representatives of other clubs agreed subject to the AIFF assuring quality broadcast of I-League games and better marketing of the league. The competitions won’t start before mid-November this year.
Five teams were called to the meeting involving only I-League clubs. Bengaluru FC were not because they want to be part of the ISL and neither were Mumbai FC because they have been relegated. DSK Shivajians, Minerva FC and Chennai City too weren’t called because their terms of engagement specify the possibility of a merger between the leagues or restructuring of the I-League.
First Published: Jun 11, 2017 00:49 IST