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AFC General Secretary Dato' Windsor John - India's top league must be bigger

10:44 GMT+3 14/10/2019
The officials from AFC, AIFF, I-League and ISL clubs met in Malaysia on Monday...

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) General Secretary Dato' Windsor John has stressed that the governing body of football in Asia will be involved in the development of Indian football and ensuring a pathway to a single top division league. 

The officials from the All India Football Federation, I-League and Indian Super League (ISL) clubs met the AFC officials at Kuala Lumpur on Monday to discuss the roadmap for Indian football. It has been decided that ISL will have promotion and relegation from the 2024-25 season and I-League clubs will get a chance to enter India's top-tier league without paying a franchise fee. 

The AFC General Secretary stated, “Everyone has to put the good of Indian football at the forefront and take the best decisions to develop Indian club football. The AFC will be very much involved to ensure the growth of the game to the next level with the pathway to a single league.

“Every point of this package – and it is a package – has been thought-out extremely carefully and it is aimed simply at providing the best chance to develop Indian club football. We have informed AIFF that 10-12 teams are not enough for the top League – it must be bigger.

“Everyone has contributed to the development of the Indian club game - ISL, I-League clubs, the AIFF and the AFC – and I am sure that if this roadmap is considered further then Indian football will see the benefits for the game. We are now all working together to deliver the best future.”

All India Football Federation (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das, added, “We now have a roadmap which provides the best opportunity for Indian club football. I would like to thank the AFC – and General Secretary – for their contribution in proposing a solution to this unique problem. India is an important country for football in Asia.

“We have to be financially sustainable and take into consideration all commercial and contractual aspects of this plan because commerce is key to football not only in India but across the world of football. We must be cognizant of that fact of football life, that footballing legacy and investment are equally important for the development of Indian football," he concluded.