All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) President Kalyan Chaubey, Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran, and senior officials of the Federation met with representatives from the I-League and Indian Women’s League clubs at the Football House in New Delhi, on Thursday, July 20, 2023.
Amongst the I-League clubs, Sreenidi Deccan FC, Gokulam Kerala FC, Churchill Brothers FC Goa, Mohammedan Sporting Club, Aizawl FC, NEROCA FC, TRAU FC, Real Kashmir FC, Rajasthan United FC, Delhi FC and Shillong Lajong FC were present.
Out of the IWL clubs, Gokulam Kerala FC, Kickstart FC, HOPS FC, Sethu FC, and Odisha FC, East Bengal FC, Sports Odisha were present.
Discussions were held on a range of topics regarding the formats of the two leagues, the subsidies disbursed to the clubs, the qualities of the pitches and broadcast, the regulation of foreign players, and more.
The AIFF discussed the possibility of having the I-League in different formats. A lengthy discussion was held on the pros and cons of the formats, which the management took note of. A decision on the same will be taken at a later date, taking into consideration, the opinions of all stakeholders.
“This is a new dawn, and the AIFF management is looking to take the leagues in the country to the next level. At times when we sit across the table, we tend to think only of what can benefit us, but we need to put all such differences aside and think of solutions that will benefit all parties involved here,” Chaubey said.
“I am sure all of you are looking for good players, quality administrators, quality media engagement, and so on. I am glad to tell all of you that this time we aim to do better for the Hero I-League and the Hero IWL.”
“We are working on creating the right impact and value for the Hero I-League and Hero IWL. It is our responsibility to ensure that the league is sustainable for the clubs, and to make it more competitive,” Prabhakaran said,
The I-League clubs were also advised to improve their pitch conditions and have compulsory floodlights for their matches.
Gokulam Kerala FC in AFC Women’s Club Championship
Gokulam Kerala FC will be allowed to participate in the AFC Women’s Club Championship 2023 after the AIFF requested the AFC to allow the club to participate in the 2023 edition as the winners of the 2022-23 Indian Women’s League.
The introduction of club licensing before the season starts as per AFC Norms was also proposed by the AIFF in the meeting in order to meet the AFC requirements, which will come into effect from the 2024-25 season for the AFC Women’s Club Championship.
The 2023-24 women’s football league season will consist of two tiers – the IWL with eight teams playing on a home-and-away basis and a second division, which will comprise the remaining eight teams from the 2022-23 IWL season and the state league winners.
The top two teams of the second division will be promoted to the 2024-25 IWL.
The tentative dates suggested by the AIFF for the IWL 2023-24 season are from November 18, 2023, to March 16, 2024.
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