Players push for simulataneous ISL, I-League

AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said Football Players Association of India (FPAI) conducted a survey in which they have expressed their desire to play parallel leagues.

Written by Shahid Judge | Mumbai | Updated: June 9, 2017 9:29 am
It is believed that even AIFF president Praful Patel is in favour of conducting the two leagues together.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has said players want the Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League to be held simultaneously. It is believed that even AIFF president Praful Patel is in favour of conducting the two leagues together. Both the leagues are likely to run simultaneously for five months.

AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said Football Players Association of India (FPAI) conducted a survey in which they have expressed their desire to play parallel leagues. The details of the survey was presented by FPAI president Renedy Singh and former head Baichung Bhutia during the high-profile meeting with FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Wednesday.

The AIFF’s executive committee met again in Mumbai on Thursday but the status of the domestic structure remained ambiguous as ever.

However, Das hinted that as a short-term solution, the ISL and I-League could be played together. “Players have a very clear view. That was expressed in the meeting yesterday (Wednesday). The players have said very categorically, Baichung and Renedy showed us that through their survey that they would like to play parallel leagues,” Das said after the executive committee meeting.

India captain Sunil Chhetri said it would help in generating more employment for the players. “I don’t mind two leagues being held separate and at the same time as more players will get to play and will not be idle,” Chhetri was quoted as saying by PTI.

“If something like that does go ahead, the good thing would mean 10 teams in I League, 10 teams in ISL, you have 20 teams playing. That’s a good thing. We are talking about so many players getting employed somewhere,” he added.

Till last season, the ISL was held from October to December followed by I-League from January to May. According to the new proposal, I-League and ISL will be played together.

To keep I-League as the premier tournament, its winners will be given an AFC Champions League (ACL) playoff spot while ISL champions will be awarded AFC Cup playoff berth. This will only be a temporary solution although Das said he ‘did not know’ what the eventual short-term plan will be.

Patel will meet I-League club officials in Delhi on Saturday, where he is likely to take a final call on this season.

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  1. A
    Arun
    Jun 10, 2017 at 9:08 am
    Active foreign players will not sign the 5 month short league. ISL still run with retired foreign players.
    Reply
    1. P
      Prashank Pant
      Jun 9, 2017 at 3:15 pm
      AIFF is our out of its mind. There in no need of running two league simultaneously. If two run simultaneously, it's obvious that I-League will die. Who's going to watch I-League when there will be ISL. Also ISL will get more sponsor and broadcasting as compared to I-League. Also ISL will take better domestic player. For once, just waise off the franchisee fee for I league clubs and unify both the leagues. AIFF won't unify two league for at least next 3-4 year they have already taken 700 cr from FSDL for the right organising ISL. I am really ed of this situation as a fan
      Reply
      1. A
        Akash Sil
        Jun 9, 2017 at 6:56 pm
        Well said.....Praful wants to kill the I league clubs
        Reply