The Asian Football Confederation has approved Indian Super League (ISL) as a league that can run alongside the I-League in 2017 and 2018 while terming it as a “temporary short-term bridging solution”. The decision came following a recommendation made by the sport’s governing body in the country – All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) – which was enough for the Asian governing body to give the green light.
AIFF had recommended that ISL will replace the Federation Cup with the winner of the Fed Cup going on to play in the AFC Cup preliminary stages. Therefore the AFC Committee acknowledged that the winner of the I-League will go on to play the AFC Champions League Playoff round and ISL winner will get a berth into the AFC Cup preliminary stages as long as the clubs adhere to the rules, in particular, the club licensing from 2018.
The statement read – “Following a recommendation from the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the Competitions Committee gave special dispensation for the Indian Super League (ISL) which will be played simultaneously with the I-League for six or seven months in 2017 and 2018 as a temporary short-term ‘bridging solution’.”
“AIFF’s recommendation to the AFC was that the ISL will replace the Federation Cup, whose winner is currently allocated an AFC Cup preliminary stage place. ”
“Therefore, the Committee approved that the I-League champions will play in the AFC Champions League Play-off round and the ISL Champions will play in the AFC Cup preliminary stage – as long as all clubs adhere to the AFC rules and regulations, particularly club licensing, from 2018.”
“The situation will be reviewed on a yearly basis with conditions which, in addition to adherence to club licensing regulations, include promotion, production, a player allocation system and the following of the Road Map agreed between the AFC and Indian football stakeholders at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur on June 7, 2017.”