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AIFF's roadmap gives every entity in Indian football a chance to be a part of the top tier

09:07 GMT+3 14/10/2019
AIFF''s I-League Workshop
The new roadmap of Indian football was finally revealed and acknowledged by the AFC in Kuala Lumpur on Monday...

The much awaited roadmap of Indian football devised by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) was finally shared with all the stakeholders at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) house 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. The AIFF will also only organise one knockout tournament from that particular season.

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. 

It is a win-win situation for all the stakeholders of Indian football as eventually, every club will get a chance to be a part of the top tier of Indian football considering ISL will have promotion and relegation in the new few years.

Even though AIFF are handing the top tier status to ISL and allowing their league stage winners to grab the AFC Champions League qualifying slot, the Indian FA have made sure that the I-League does not get neglected. The I-League winners will also get a chance to compete at the continental level.

Indian football was divided into two halves where one section were hell-bent on proving that the AIFF was mistreating the age-old I-League and favouring FSDL owned ISL. In reality though the roadmap is indeed an amicable settlement between the two sections.