The I-League clubs have been fuming ever since it emerged that the AIFF is planning to make the Indian Super League the country's top league as per an agreement signed years before the ISL's inaugural edition.
Minerva qualified for the AFC Cup on the basis of winning the 2017-18 I-League but they had a forgettable outing in the just-concluded season, finishing second from bottom with only four wins from 19 matches.
"The All India Football Federation had introduced Club Licensing in 2012 where one of the main focus was on to develop home grown talent," the I-League CEO stated on the side-lines of FICCI's GOAL Summit 2019.
Chennai City FC, who had impressed the fans with their exciting brand of football, pipped Kolkata giants Quess East Bengal by just one point, in a race to the finish that lasted till the final day of the season.
It looked like East Bengal were a whisker away from toppling Chennai City FC from the top of the table at half time in Coimbatore and Kozhikode. But Pedro Manzi and Gaurav Bora's goals ensured that Chennai become the first team from Tamil Nadu to win an I-League title.