In what most people term as a historic decision, the Asia Football Confederation (AFC) together with the All India Football Federation, has established a roadmap that is believed to benefit the future of Indian football.
In a meeting held at the AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, the All India Football Federation discussed the future of the game in the country with India’s two domestic league clubs. The ISL organizers, Football Sports Development Limited officials also attended the meeting.
The Provisions of the AIFF Roadmap
In consultations with AFC, the national federation presented a roadmap regarding the future of Indian club football. Some of the main points they agreed on are that the promotion of the I-League club to the Indian Super League during the 2022/23 season without paying the entry fee.
However, there will be no promotion in the ISL for 2919/20, 2020/21, and 2021/22.
According to the agreement, by the end of the 2020/21 season, 2 I-League clubs will get entry into the ISL.
Further details from the federation reveal that AFC and AIFF agreed that ISL winner would represent the country in the AFC championship while the winning champions at the I-League will get a slot at the AFC cup.
We can also confirm that AIFF wanted the AFC Champions League to have direct entry to the group. But the request was not granted because the league’s structure may be different as the commercial partners may change starting next year. Besides, the slots in the AFC to ISL will be allotted next year.
On the issues of the merger between the two leagues, AFC has come up with a six-year plan that will see two I-League clubs get a spot in the ISL starting the 2020/21 season.
After the 2021/22 season, the decision regarding the structure, the leagues’ name and the number of teams in the top tier in the 2024/25 season will be made by AIFF.
The league’s final structure and a knockout tournament will take place in 2024/25 season during the start of promotion and relegation.
This is good news for the current ISL team because they will be free from relegation until 2024/25 when four I-League teams will be added to ISL.
What AIFF Roadmap Means for I-League Clubs
Announcement from AIFF that ISL would be the top league in the upcoming season rubbed I-League the wrong way.
While they did not complain, most of the clubs have been struggling to compete at the continent level especially because other Indian players participated in the other league.
The new AIFF roadmap has not only brought them new hope but also given enough time to up their game and complete their AFC licensing processes.
What to Expect from ISL 2019/2020?
India Super League 2019 /2020 is set to begin on 20th October. Fans are super excited because AIFF is expected to hand over to the Indian Top-flight Champions, the preliminary spot.
Indian Super League clubs just like the European Super League clubs have put their loyalty tickets for sale.
And without any doubt, ISL 2019/2020 offers a great opportunity for betting lovers to try their luck. The best thing is that betting sites, for instance, ComeOn offer a great opportunity to learn more about online casinos and betting tips.
Mohun Bagan and East Bengal Likely to Join ISL
High chances are that East Bengal and Mohun Bagan will join the ISL in the coming season. Several attempts have been made in the past to have the two teams join the ISL, and are likely to rejoin the negotiations. It's only if the negotiations fail to bear fruits again that they will consider other clubs.
It is expected that India will have a 16-20 team league, something the Indian football stakeholders have demanded long.
What Other Industry Players Think About AIFF’s Move
Many people have reacted to the new AIFF roadmap. When asked about AIFF’s new roadmap, Rohit Ramesh, owner of the Chennai City FC hailed the AIFF’s decision saying it is a step towards the right direction. He, however, expressed concerns again being skeptical during the implementation process.
Rohit added that it would have been much better if the issues were raised earlier during the previous ISL/I-League or the Super Cup.