I-League clubs not ready to hand AFC Champions League slot to ISL

Questions have been raised about why a proposal regarding the Champions League slot was sent when the federation had said it would maintain status quo.

The AIFF forwarded a request to the AFC to allot the champion team of ISL a qualification berth, after assuring I-League teams that status quo would be maintained.   -  AIFF

The long-standing issue between the Indian Super League (ISL) and the I-League took a new turn on Saturday when some of the I-League clubs asked the All India Football Federation (AIFF) why the federation forwarded a request to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to allot the champion team of ISL an AFC Champions League qualification berth.

Speaking to IANS, Gokulam FC president V.C. Praveen asked why a proposal was forwarded regarding the slot in the Champions League when the federation had said it will maintain status quo. So far that slot went to the winner of the I-League.

“We said okay to the status quo proposal but said that we need the AFC slot. How can they interchange if it is status quo for the next three year?” questioned Praveen.

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AIFF president Praful Patel in a meeting with the unified I-League clubs on July 3 promised that the interests of the I-League clubs will be taken care of and the two leagues will run simultaneously maintaining a status quo. But after AIFF’s executive committee meeting on July 9, the AIFF forwarded a request to the AFC to allot the champion team of ISL a qualification berth.

Speaking on the turn of events, Mohun Bagan executive committee Debashis Dutta said, “We met Praful Patel on July 3 and he told us what he had to and in reply we told him that we will get back to him in 24 hours. But then the minutes of the meeting weren't recorded. So, we had no option but to ask AFC and FIFA to help us.”

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