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Indian Football: AFC offers AIFF recommendations on future roadmap in stakeholders' meeting

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has offered the All India Football Federation (AIFF) several recommendations on how to devise a strategy on the future of Indian football in a meeting between various stakeholders in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. 

The meeting was attended by representatives from several Indian Super League and I-League clubs, along with officials of Football Players Association of India (FPAI), AIFF and AFC General Secretary Dato Windsor. 

As revealed by Goal last month, AFC were prepared to award a continental spot to the ISL winners after The AIFF and their commercial and marketing partners, namely IMG-Reliance, met AFC General Secretary Dato Windsor and Alex Philips, Head of AFC- UEFA Affairs at UEFA on Monday in Bahrain on May 11.

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However,  no final decision on this matter has been conveyed after Wednesday's meeting. 

With the AFC having offered their suggestions, the ball is in AIFF's court on how to proceed with devising a strategy that satisfies all the parties concerned. 

"No concrete decisions were taken on the various contentious points like the merger of the two leagues and whether the ISL winners get a continental cup spot or not," a club official present at the meeting told Goal on the condition of anonymity. 

AFC President Dato Windsor said, "The objectives were clear; to help provide a road map for the future development of Indian football by reaching a consensus on the way forward. It was a significant step forward that there was unanimous agreement that the right structure for the game should be paramount."

"There is a need to find solutions which ensure that Indian football is protected and that there are opportunities for young players, who must not be lost to our game," he added. 

Meanwhile, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das stated that the Indian FA will come up with a short-term strategy as soon as possible, "We are grateful to the AFC for facilitating the meeting which is crucial to the development of football in India. We must go through this process to create the best future for the game in our country.

"In the meantime, we have to decide on the short-term future of the game as soon as possible."