Representatives of the I-League clubs met with All India Football Federation (AIFF) officials at Football House, New Delhi to discuss the way forward for the I-League for the 2017-18 season till the roadmap for Indian football in the medium and long term is finalised with assistance and guidance from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
The meeting was attended by Subrata Dutta, Chairman League Committee, Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF and Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League.
The clubs agreed to the concurrent running of the Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League for the season 2017-18 but stated that the I-League must be broadcast on the Star Sports platform with good quality production and proper marketing and promotion and scheduling of matches. They also recommended that a task force with the I-League clubs be set up to review the I-League on a regular basis.
They also stated that the travel subsidy needs to be increased and that AIFF should also allocate a budget for the promotion of the I-League for 2017-18 season.
Furthermore, the clubs recommended for permission to register eight foreign players out of which two should be of Asian origin, and 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.
Subrata Dutta who chaired this meeting said all the recommendations of the I-League clubs will be placed before the League Committee whose meeting is scheduled on July 5, 2017, and the final decisions of the Committee will be communicated to the clubs.
Meanwhile, the AFC has sent a communication to AIFF expressing happiness that the AIFF Executive Committee has approved the project to determine the medium and long term road map for top Indian Club football. A draft project plan will be sent by AFC soon in this regard.
However, 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.
AIFF General Secretary, Kushal Das thanked AFC for their guidance and support. “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,” he said.