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AFC approves AIFF's roadmap, ISL to be top league from 2019/20 season

ANI | Updated: Oct 26, 2019 19:14 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 26 (ANI): The Asian Football Confederation on Saturday endorsed All India Football Federation's (AIFF) roadmap of Indian football and with this, the Indian Super League (ISL) will be recognised as the top league in India starting from 2019-2020 season.
Earlier, I-League used to hold the position of the top league in the country. The AFC endorsed the roadmap during a meeting in Vietnam.

The ISL League winners would also be entitled to a play-off place in the AFC Champions League and the I-League champions would take a place in the AFC Cup in 'a package that takes into consideration the recommendations of the FIFA/AFC report of 2017'.
The AFC Executive Committee also noted the impressive start for the ISL in Kochi last Friday. For the season-opening match, the TV audience doubled after the game was shown in seven languages on 20 channels across the nation.
Following the AFC Executive Committee decision, the roadmap for Indian football is as follows:
In season 2019-20, the ISL will attain the status of premier league competition in Indian football. The AFC will allow the winning ISL club to represent India in the AFC Champions League play-offs, and the I-League winner will get to play in the AFC Cup play-off.
Another key recommendation by the AFC is to open a pathway for two I-League clubs' entry into the ISL by the end of the 2020-21 season, subject to the criteria being fulfilled.
In addition, starting with the 2022-23 and 2023-2024 season, the winner of the I-League will stand a chance to be promoted to the ISL with no participation fee, on the basis of fulfilling sporting merit and the national club licensing criteria to be set out by the AIFF. There will be no relegation in the ISL at this time.
In its recommendation for 2024-25, it is agreed to fully implement promotion into the top league, and the abolition of two parallel leagues. (ANI)