Indian Football: Praful Patel bats for parallel Indian Super League and I-League

AIFF Media
The AIFF President will meet the I-League clubs on Saturday to discuss the idea of holding the two leagues parallel to each other..

All India Football Federation President Praful Patel has spoken in favour of the Indian Super League and the I-League being held simultaneously for the 2017/18 season during the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Indian FA in Mumbai on Thursday.  

The meeting was convened after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) proposed four different scenarios to the AIFF with respect to the domestic football structure. The four options AFC suggested to the AIFF are detailed here

According to sources close to the developments, Praful Patel favoured holding seven-month long ISL and I-League, running simultaneously during the course of the meeting. 

As per this formula, the I-League winners will now get a AFC Champions League (ACL) playoff spot while the Indian Super League champions will play the AFC Cup playoff. If the I-League winners fail to make it past the ACL playoffs, they will automatically drop down to the AFC Cup group stage. 

However, he found some opposition to the idea from Larsing Ming Sawyan, AIFF Vice President from the North-East and Shillong Lajong FC Managing Director, who insisted that the I-League clubs should be consulted before the AIFF reached a decision. 

Following the discussion, Praful Patel is set to meet the representatives from the I-League clubs in New Delhi on Saturday. He is expected to assure the I-League clubs of improved TV coverage and the top league status, underlined by the ACL playoff spot on offer for the winners. 

This formula is only expected to be adopted for the upcoming season and the AIFF supremo wants to assuage any concerns the I-League clubs might have on Saturday.