Officials from the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) met Indian Football Association (IFA) secretary Utpal Ganguly on Wednesday to discuss the future roadmap of Indian football to explore the possiblities of the country having a single unified league instead of two in I-League and the Indian Super League.
I-League CEO Sunando Dhar and AIFF vice-president Subrata Dutta were also present in the meeting.
The IFA secretary briefed the officials about the importance and heritage of the Kolkata clubs Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting who are currently taking part in the I-League.
The two officials, FIFA’s Nic Coward and AFC’s Alex Phillips, will hold meetings with all the I-League and ISL clubs and prepare a draft report which will then be submitted to the AIFF.
About Wednesday’s meeting, Ganguly said, “I told them about the importance and heritage of the Bengal clubs and their contribution to Indian football. It will be unfair to put these clubs in the same bracket along with the newly formed franchise sides and take franchise fees. They deserve to play in the top tier league of the country whether ISL or I-League."
"The two officials were here to listen to our opinion about the future of Indian football.They will do a market survey now and on the basis of that they will prepare a draft report and submit it to the AIFF by November."
Both AFC and FIFA want a single unified league in India. AIFF’s Subrata Dutta proposed a plan in today’s meeting in which 18 teams would take part in a particular league which will run for 7 months.
The future of Indian football is expected to be resolved by November when the FIFA and AFC officials present their reports to the Indian FA.