The Indian Super League and the I-League will not merge in the near future and that the latter, India’s official league as sanctioned by FIFA and AFC will continue as such, the All India Football Federation decided at a meeting in Mumbai as reported by PTI.
The president of AIFF Praful Patel was in Mumbai to hear presentations from officials of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal on their proposed inclusion in a revamped league structure, which has been provisionally delayed.
AIFF’s proposed roadmap had indicated that three I-League clubs, namely Bengaluru FC and the two Kolkata giants would join the eight ISL clubs in the top tier of Indian football. Aizawl FC had protested their exclusion on account of being the champions of I-League 2017.
An AIFF source quoted by PTI said, “I-League will remain the official league, while the Indian Super League will be expanded into a seven-month long tournament to be played in the weekends. There will be no unified league. We will take a call after two-three years.”
The source had also added that the Aizawl issue had not cropped up at the meeting, despite sports minister Vijay Goel’s assurance that he would speak to the Federation regarding the cause of the Mizo club.
A report in the Hindustan Times also added that federation officials may seek to start a Super Cup, where the top four teams from both the leagues will fight it out for slots in the AFC competitions. Till date, AFC slots were awarded to the top finishers in the I-League.