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Chennai City owner Rohit Ramesh hails the roadmap as a ‘positive step’

09:17 GMT+3 15/10/2019
Chennai City Super Cup
The owner of the defending I-League champions wants all their matches to be telecasted due to commercial reasons…

The much-awaited roadmap of Indian football was finally unveiled by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

According to the new roadmap, the Indian Super League (ISL) winners will get an AFC Champions League (ACL) playoff spot from this season while the I-League winners will be given the AFC Cup playoff slot.

The ISL, which will assume its position as the top-tier league of Indian football, will be open for the I-League winners to join from the 2022-23 season onwards and it will be an open league with promotion and relegation from the 2024-25 season. From then on, the continental spots will go to the ISL winners and the champions of AIFF's knockout tournament.

The I-League clubs who join the ISL from 2022-23 season will not have to pay any franchise fee but they will also not get any share from ISL's central pool of revenue. The bare minimum criteria for the I-League clubs to join the ISL will be to match the required standards of the league, such as stadium facilities and infrastructure.

What the commercial terms of the ISL will be after its tenth season is yet to be determined.

Representatives of several I-League and ISL clubs were present in Malaysia as the roadmap was unveiled.

Even though I-League champions Chennai City FC owner Rohit Ramesh was not present in Kuala Lumpur, he expressed his satisfaction over the new roadmap.

Speaking to Goal, Ramesh said, “I think it is a positive step. But we have to wait and see how this is implemented. Considering the fact that all stakeholders were present, it gives an opportunity for all of us to do something that is right for the sport. Hope this should materialize and things happen in a peaceful way henceforth.”

The Chennai boss suggested that the only thing he wants improved is the broadcasting of his team’s matches as the commercial value of the side depends on it and is not concerned about prime time slots.

“To be very honest I will be very happy if all my games are telecasted. We can't be in a situation where the broadcast itself stops. From my club's perspective, we will be happy if any channel comes on board and broadcasts these matches. Whether it's 2 pm, 3 pm, or 8 pm it doesn't really concern me, to be very honest. If it's not broadcasted then it is a problem as sponsors start pulling off. Valuation of our players drop. So these are the main problems and I am content if all the matches are just broadcasted," concluded Ramesh.