Mr. Subrata Dutta, Senior Vice President, All India Football Federation, and Chairman, League Committee chaired the AIFF League Committee Meeting held via video conferencing today (December 21, 2021).
Besides, AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das and League CEO Mr. Sunando Dhar, Mr. Anil Kumar, Mr. Chirag Tanna, Mr. Rochak Langer attended the meeting, while leave of absence was granted to Mr. Souter Vaz, Mr. Lalnghinglova Hmar, and Mr. BK Roka. Ms. Swati Kothari, COO, AIFF was also present. Dr. Shyama Mohamed attended the meeting as a special invitee.
Updating the Committee about the forthcoming edition of the Hero I-League 2021-22, Leagues CEO Mr. Dhar stated that all the participating clubs will be checking into the bio bubble from December 16, 2021 onwards.
“The covid protocols have been intimated to the clubs and they need to conduct minimum three tests prior to checking into the bubble. There will also be regular testing on all in the bubble for the entire duration of the League,” he informed.
Mr. Tanna also updated the Committee about the ongoing edition of the Hero ISL 2021-22.
The Committee unanimously decided that there will be a relegation in the Hero I-League 2021-22, and from that there won’t be any Hero I-League Qualifiers for 2022-23, and the 2nd Division League will be played on a home and away basis from 2022-23 onwards, health parameters permitting.
For teams to qualify for the 2nd division, all the State FAs need to finish their State Leagues by May 2022, and nominate the respective champion club. The League management will thereafter work on the club licensing criteria, and decide on the format and number of groups.
The Hero IWL which is to kick-off from March 2022 in Bhubaneswar will be a 12-team affair this edition wherein every team will be playing a minimum of 11 matches. The Committee recommended an extension of deadline for the State Associations to finish their respective State Women’s Leagues and nominate the champions teams on or before February 7, 2022.
The League also unanimously decided that with vaccination for below 18 not having started, the AIFF Youth Leagues won’t be held this season. The safety and health of the players are of paramount importance, and there cannot be any compromises on that front, the Committee members felt.
Furthermore, keeping in mind the relaxation of the new AFC rule for AFC Continental Championships wherein a club can register as many number of foreign players but stick to the 3+1 rule on match days, the Committee referred the matter to the AIFF Executive Committee over implementation of the same in the Hero I-League.
Meanwhile, the teams in Hero ISL and Hero I-League can register amateur players with an understanding that they need to change them into professional players when the transfer window re-opens on January 1, 2022.