After the AIFF and the AFC meeting last week, it looks as if the Indian Football Federation has finally set themselves on a decision.
The above said meeting was supposed to clear all the knots about the future of Indian football. But the meeting was not what everyone wanted it to be. Instead of one clear outcome the AFC provided a list of possible scenarios that the AIFF could follow.
And now it looks as if they have finally settled on a decision. As per reports, the AIFF has decided that the I-League and ISL are going to be played simultaneously. The Indian football calendar this year is packed and the country is all set to hold the U-17 World Cup. And hence in such a scenario it will be impossible to hold the two leagues in different time slots. So India’s premier footballing body has decided that the two league be played at the same time.
The AIFF originally had plans to merge the two leagues and form a single one. And they had decided to include only a handful of teams from the I-League. But the AFC made it clear that if they wanted a merger then it should have all the 16 teams from both the leagues. Hence the merger idea had to be scrapped.
Also Read: The ISL and I-League situation explained.
But the new decision is also set cause a lot of problems. Not for the board but for the clubs, mainly those from the I-League. Teams like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have a host of players who play for various ISL teams as loanees. And now with the new setup the players will have to decide as to where there allegence lies. And this would mean that most of the players would choose the ISL teams mainly due to a far better wage structure.
This comes as a huge blow to the I-Leagues teams as most of their players play for one ISL club or the other. And it will now be impossible for them to hold on to all these players. So wether you choose to believe it or not but the I-League is all set to turn into a second tier league in the Indian footballing scene.