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AFC set to send recommendations to AIFF for merger between ISL and I-League

2.72K   //    28 Nov 2017, 18:20 IST

ATK won the previous edition of the ISL, which could be merged with the I-League in the future
ATK won the previous edition of the ISL, which could be merged with the I-League in the future

What's the story?

In a welcome development for Indian football, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is all set to send a list of solutions and recommendations to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and their commercial partners IMG-Reliance regarding the merger between the Indian Super League and the I-League.

HIghly-placed sources have confirmed to Sportskeeda that the AFC will send the much-awaited report in the near future, which is expected to provide a roadmap to converging the two leagues.

In case you didn't know...

In September 2017, AFC formed a joint task force with the AIFF to resolve the ongoing mess of two leagues in the country.

The heart of the matter

The AFC had earlier wanted a league comprising of 18 teams from both Indian Super League and I-League. Although there are contractual and logistical issues of organizing a single league with 18 teams, several I-League clubs were in talks with the FSDL to join the ISL bandwagon.

Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan were in a long negotiation with the AIFF to relax the franchise fee and let them play from Kolkata, which did not fall through.

As of now, Bengaluru FC are the only I-League club to have already joined the cash-rich franchise-based tournament

The heart of the matter

The AFC was supposed to provide an outline of a merged league to the AIFF by October but things were delayed due to the Delhi High Court's order to remove the present AIFF Elected Members.

The continental body are expected to send several solutions to correct the contractual problems and unify both the existing leagues. However, both AIFF and IMG-Reliance have all the rights to deny accepting any of the recommendations.

What's next?

With the report set to be submitted in the near future, it remains to be seen how AIFF and IMG-R respond to it.

Author's Take

This news is an important one for Indian football fans, who have been desperately waiting for a long, sustainable league. However, it also needs to be seen what parts of the suggestions will actually be implemented.

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Just a random Indian Football Afficiando. Loyalties with East Bengal and Barca.
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