Finally, it looks as if ‘Who will play in the AFC’ dilemma has been sorted out as India is set to have two official leagues from 2017-18.
There was a lot of debate over the fact that who was going to play in the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup. Previously the winners of the I-League would get to play in the Champions League qualifiers. While the Federation Cup winners played in the AFC Cup qualifiers.
But now with the ISL coming into the mix, the situation got a bit too complicated. A series of solutions were presented forward in order to get the ISL recognised from the AFC. And now it has finally happened. The Asian Football Confederation has finally recognised the ISL as a legitimate tournament. And along with that, it has also approved the AIFF’s plan to run two parallel leagues.
So as things stand, the I-League winners of this season will get to play in the AFC Champions League qualifiers for 2019. And the ISL winners will play in the AFC Cup qualifiers. But this is going to be the case only for this season. Because as per the reports, come the next season the ISL winners will have the Champions League crown on their head.
And by that time the AIFF will also look to sort out any sort of mess that still remains on the floor as they look to present Indian football to a global audience.
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