The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided to run the I-League and Indian Super League (ISL) concurrently this season, while deliberating on the medium and long-term roadmap of Indian football. While I-League will remain the country’s premier league, with the winners eligible to take part in the AFC Champions League qualifiers play-off, the ISL has also got official recognition with the champions being granted an AFC Cup slot.
But the Asian Football Confederation is looking to step in and clear the air over Indian football’s messy domestic structure with a target of one nation, one league. FIFA and AFC both want India to put in place a one-league structure “as soon as possible” and hence an AFC delegation will visit the country to meet all concerned stakeholders in mid-August to discuss the matter further. Later during the World Cup, the AFC team will re visit along with top FIFA officials, who will be in India at that time, to attend those meetings in a move to give shape to the future path of Indian football. According to sources AFC does not plan to allow AIFF to run two leagues concurrently and will look to end this logjam as soon as possible. According to another source, with the knowledge of this development, the new league may be expanded to at least 18 or 20 teams and will serve as the only league of India.
What according to you should be the right way to proceed keeping in mind that I-League faces a stern challenge for its mere existence against the glamorous ISL?