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ISL handed AFC CL slot and relegated I-League gets the AFC Cup; I-League Winners to be promoted to ISL from the 2022-23 season

ISL handed AFC CL slot and relegated I-League gets the AFC Cup; I-League Winners to be promoted to ISL from the 2022-23 season

The AIFF in conjunction with AFC have released a roadmap for Indian football today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at a conference which had I-League and Indian Super League representatives in attendance.

AFC Champions League and AFC Cup slots

The Indian FA – AIFF’s proposal for allotting AFC competition slots has been validated by AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John. The ISL league winners will be awarded a slot in the AFC Champions League preliminary qualifiers whereas the I-League winners will participate in the AFC Cup play-offs. 

The AFC Champions League spot was awarded to the I-League in 2007 and when the franchise-based ISL came about in 2014 – they were presented with a chance to compete in the AFC Cup. The recent decision by the AIFF and AFC reverses the order and the I-League is no longer the top-tier league competition in India.

Promotion and Relegation

ISL handed AFC CL slot and relegated I-League gets the AFC Cup; I-League Winners to be promoted to ISL from the 2022-23 season
Roadmap presented at the conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Two I-League teams will be offered entry into the Indian Super League next season.
  • I-League winners will be promoted to the ISL from the 2022-23 season.
  • From the 2024-25 season, one league and one knockout competition will be organised by the AIFF and both promotion and relegation will be implemented in the ISL.
  • The promoted I-League club will not have a share in the distribution of revenue by the ISL.
  • I-League clubs will have to adhere to guidelines set out by the ISL management from time-to-time to remain eligible to participate in the Indian Super League.

The sixth edition of the Indian Super League will commence on 20th October 2019 whereas the I-League is tentatively expected to start on 16th November.

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