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Roadmap for Hero I-League 2021-22 season 

Indian Football news

Roadmap for Hero I-League 2021-22 season 

Roadmap for Hero I-League 2021-22 season

All India Football Federation (AIFF) general secretary Kushal Das assured that the roadmap for I-League was set out in 2019 after consultation with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) according to schedule. The AIFF has assured I-League clubs from 2019 that they will be promoted to the Indian Super League (ISL), with the latter replacing the former as the ground’s top division. This means that until 2022–23 I-League winners will be able to play in the ISL 2023–24 on “game” qualification and promotion, and two years later there will be promotion-relegation between the two leagues.

“There is a roadmap which begins in the 2023-24 season through which the I-League winners (from the 2022-23 season) will play in the ISL on sporting merit. The number of ISL teams will increase,” Das said during a virtual press conference ahead of the start of the 2021-22 I-League season.

“This will continue for two years and after that, there will be a clear process of a demotion (from ISL to I-League) and promotion (from I-League to ISL). This was the plan that was agreed upon by all the stakeholders – ISL and I-League clubs, AFC and AIFF.”

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has been a major hurdle for many clubs and leagues, Kushal Das has assured that all stakeholders want to follow the roadmap. “Covid-19 was a big blow. There are problems, we understand. A team like former champions Chennai City cannot continue to play in the I-League. We also know that there are issues with SC East Bengal playing in the ISL.”

“But for the time being, the roadmap that we have agreed with all the stakeholders remains in place. We are completely in sync with that plan. There is no reason to deviate from the plan,” Das added. The participation of the I-League 2022–23 champions in the next season of the ISL is subject to the club’s fulfillment of the licensing criteria.

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