The speculation revolving around the merger of Indian Super League and I-league ended on Tuesday after The AIFF virtually recognized ISL as the country´s Premier League.
In the meeting attended by selected officials from AIFF, ISL, 1-League, Marketing partner IMG-Reliance and broadcaster and former National Captain Bhaichung Bhuita , Sunil Chhetri and others a new roadmap was created to restructure Indian Football on Tuesday.
As per new roadmap of the country will have three leagues in a hierarchical system from 2017 onwards and no complete merger between the Indian Super League and I-league is mooted for now.
Indian Super League will be top tier league with eight franchise team playing now and few more addition that will be decided upon. There will be no relegation on this team to league 1 or lower division.
The existing I-league will be transformed to “League One”. Ten teams will be part of the league with the relegation a part of the format.
The lowest league in the hierarchy will be “League Two” that will be consisting teams that are playing in the I-league Second Division currently and will have 10 teams with the system of promotion to League One and relegation.
The AIFF will be looking for teams from areas such as Bihar, Nagalan, UttarPradesh and other states that have no representation so far.
The existing Federation cup may emerge as “Super Cup” and best teams from ISL, League One and League Two will be participating in a two-month long affair from 2018.
For the sustenance of the lower division clubs, the AIFF said will guarantee minimum central revenues.
The grassroots development programmes will continue as it is far now and under the AIFF Lakshya programme the federation said it aims to improve the marketability of clubs, attract investment, incentives competition and bring professionalism in Indian clubs.
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