Mohun Bagan expresses concern about AFC Cup slot proposal

The I-League side has written to the Asian Football Confederation, protesting about the proposal to allot one spot to a team associated with the Indian Super League.

Mohun Bagan gets most of its players on loan from the Indian Super League.   -  PTI

Mohun Bagan has written to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to communicate its opinion on the allotment of AFC Cup slots. It has expressed concern at the possibility of All India Football Federation (AIFF) giving one spot to an Indian Super League winning team as per a proposal.

“The AIFF wants to give one slot to ISL to play in the AFC Cup. As per the meeting in Mumbai, I-League is the only official league so there’s no need to change the existing system,” Mohun Bagan general secretary Anjan Mitra said.

As of now, the I-League winner automatically plays the AFC Champions League play-off while the runner-up plays the AFC Cup in two berths which has been guaranteed for a few seasons. But in the recent AFC Congress, the AIFF has sought for an extra berth in an apparent move to allot the quota to the winner of the ISL, which is not deemed official.

“We have written to the AFC secretary and the AIFF president to maintain the status quo. The I-League would remain the official league and, therefore, we want I-League clubs to get to play the AFC Champions League qualifiers and AFC Cup.”

As the AIFF’s merger plan has failed to see the light of the day, the I-League will remain official going side by side with the ISL which will be played on weekends across seven months in the new proposal. Such a move is set to significantly affect Mohun Bagan which gets most of its players on loan from ISL.

It seems a door way is still kept open for the two teams to come under one umbrella. The Football Sports Development Limited, organisers of the ISL, has invited bids from 10 cities including that of Kolkata.

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