Five days before kick-off, ISL set to be country's top tier league
Indian Super League (ISL) will replace the I-League as the top-tier competition in the country after the stakeholders agreed to a proposal of the...
New Delhi : Indian Super League (ISL) will replace the I-League as the top-tier competition in the country after the stakeholders agreed to a proposal of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), ending the long-drawn and contentious restructuring process.
In a meeting at the AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, the I-League and ISL clubs agreed on a roadmap presented by the AFC on domestic football structure reforms in India.
As per the roadmap, the ISL will be the top league in the country from this season itself while I-League will continue as second tier league.
The ISL, which begins in Kochi on October 20, will not have promotion and relegation till 2023-24 by which time the League would have completed 10 seasons. From the 2024-25 season onwards, performance-based promotion and relegation will be implemented and there will not be two parallel leagues.
The ISL champions would now be entitled to a play-off place in the AFC Champions League, the top-tier club competition in Asia, while I-League champions would compete in the second tier AFC Cup "as a special compensation to India".
The proposals will now be presented to the AFC Executive Committee and the AIFF Executive Committee, but their approval is expected to be a mere formality.