By Jagannath Chatterjee
New Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) It has been decided to make the Indian Super League (ISL) the top league of the country from 2019-20 season. The decision was taken at a meeting held in Kuala Lumpur on Monday in the presence of the members of Asian Football Confederation (AFC), All India Football Federation (AIFF) and their marketing partners, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) and the I-League and ISL clubs (stakeholders of Indian football).
It has also been decided that from 2022-23 season onwards, the champions from the I-League will be promoted to ISL and promotion and relegations in the ISL will be implemented from 2024-25 season.
I-League clubs owners have, however, reacted differently to the decision taken at the meeting.
While the Chennai City FC owner Rohit Ramesh reacted positively to the decision when he said that “hopefully it’s a positive step for the sports in the country”, the reaction of another club owner Gokulam FC, VC Praveen was a little different.
Welcoming the decision of promotion of I-League team to ISL from 2022-23 season without any entry fee, Praveen, however rued the decision to make ISL the top league of the country for coming three seasons i.e. 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22.
“I cannot digest the top league status and also we have to pay a franchisee fee during this period”, he said.
“It was on the expected line”, said Sandeep Chatto who could not attend the meeting in Kuala Lumpur and came to know about the decisions taken from this correspondent. Reacting from Srinagar, Chattoo also said, “We have no choice, do we?”
(Jagannath Chatterjee can be contacted at [email protected])