I-League clubs agree to simultaneous leagues

After a meeting with AIFF officials, representatives of the I-League clubs agreed for the parallel functioning of the ISL and the I-League for the 2017-18 season.

Officials of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) met with representatives from the various I-League clubs to discuss the concurrent functioning of the I-League and Indian Super League (ISL)in the upcoming 2017-18 season.

They also discussed the medium and long-term growth of Indian football with assistance and guidance from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

The meeting was attended by Subrata Dutta, Chairman League Committee, Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF and Mr. Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League.

The clubs agreed to the simultaneous running of the ISL and I-League for the season 2017-18, but stated that the I-League must be broadcast on the Star Sports platform with proper production, marketing, promotion and scheduling of matches.

They also suggested that a regulatory authority be set up to review the I-League on a regular basis. Another proposal was an increase in the travel subsidy and that the AIFF should also allocate a budget for the promotion of the I-League for 2017-18 season.

The clubs also recommended for permission to register eight foreign players, out of which two should be of Asian origin, and that a maximum of five foreign players should be allowed to play on the field, one among which needs to be a player of Asian origin.

Dutta said all the recommendations made by the clubs will be placed before the League Committee, whose meeting is scheduled for July 5, and the final decisions of the Committee will be communicated to the clubs.

For the season 2017-18, the AFC Secretariat is prepared to accept the concurrent running of the ISL and I league as a temporary short term “bridging” solution. The special dispensation has been reviewed and agreed by FIFA.

“The growth of Indian Football is our primary objective and we will take every step necessary to ensure positive results. We look forward to working with AFC and the other stakeholders to determine the most suitable medium to long term road map for Indian Football,” said Das, in praise of the AFC.

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