Fifa has written to All India Football Federation General Secretary Kushal Das asking for an update on the current status of the league structure in India.
Joyce Cook, Fifa’s Chief Member Association Officer wrote to the AIFF after the world body became aware of the current situation in Indian football and the AIFF’s ongoing discussions with the I-League clubs, the letter said.
Joyce also confirmed that Fifa received official communication from the I-League clubs recently.
Here is the full text of the letter from Fifa to the AIFF:
AIFF Road Map for the sustainable development of top-level Indian club football
Dear General Secretary,
Further to previous exchanges concerning the sustainable development of top-level Indian club football and the current situation within Indian football, we have recently become aware of media reports concerning ongoing discussions with I-League clubs, the future of the top league’s structure in India and a potentially unified “Indian Football League”. Furthermore, we have also been contacted by several I-League clubs in this regard.
Many of the elements under discussion are related to suggestions made in a joint FIFA and AFC report following an extensive consultation process in 2018. The report’s objectives are among others, to provide the AIFF with external expertise and to support your federation and its stakeholders in establishing and implementing a widely-supported, robust medium to long-term strategy. As you know, the report is therefore a comprehensive review and professional proposal which also contains a series of clear and concrete recommendations for your further consideration.
In view of the above, we would like to obtain an update on the current position of the AIFF as well as any additional information you may be able to provide on the present situation.
In closing, we wish to convey our sincerest gratitude and thanks for your professionalism and support in this most important endeavour. Your contribution is fundamental to the future achievements of Indian football at all levels and it is greatly appreciated.
We look forward to hearing from you and we fully remain at your disposal to further assist in this matter.
Fifa, Joyce Cook
Chief Member Associations Officer
AIFF in response to the letter released a statement of their own reiterating they are working towards a potential solution with all stakeholders’ interests in mind as per the directions of AFC and FIFA.
Here is the full text of the statement:
There are some media reports of a communication between Fifa and AIFF regarding the issues of Hero I-League and potentially a unified Indian Football League where a report of a consultation paper of FIFA and AFC in 2018 is being mentioned.
In the recent days, the AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel in his meeting with the Hero I-League clubs as well as in several recent interviews has broadly taken the same line as was suggested in the above-mentioned report.
Needless to mention that this is precisely the reason that a two-three-year window is required to resolve all contentious issues amicably with all stakeholders.
The question of Hero Indian Super League not remaining a closed league permanently has been clarified amply enough by the AIFF President, and promotion and relegation eventually would lead to the development of club football in India.
The AIFF is committed to engaging with AFC and FIFA as well as all other stakeholders for finding an early resolution to these issues.