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AIFF president proposes new competition with top four I-League, ISL teams

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Kolkata, June 10: All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel on Saturday proposed that top four I-League and Indian Super League (ISL) teams engage in a competition from where the winners and runners-up will be awarded AFC Champions League and AFC Cup slots respectively, said informed sources.

"Patel suggested that top four teams from each league play a competition where again the top two teams get a chance to play in the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup respectively," the source told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The format of the competition has not been chalked out yet, the source added.

Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan alongwith several other I-League clubs met with Patel, and other AIFF officials at a plush hotel here.

The bone of contention for the Kolkata clubs was the I-League running simultaneously and also the fact that if both leagues run together, I-League will lose its sheen.

East Bengal and Bagan also wanted a waiver of the Rs 15 crore franchise fee if they were to take part in the ISL.

"Patel has said that the I-League will also be shown on Star network and assured the I-league clubs of equal mileage. He has asked them to get back by next week on his proposal," the source said.

It was also learnt that the I-League clubs seemed happy with the Kolkata clubs saying they will will discuss it with their other officials after getting back to Kolkata.

In the meeting, East Bengal were represented by senior officials Debabrata Sarkar and Shanti Ranjan Dasgupta, while the meeting also had Shillong Lajong owner Larsing Ming Sawyan and Churchil Brothers CEO Valanka Alemao. Bagan top official Srinjoy Bose attended the meeting.

Apart from Patel, AIFF had Vice President Subrata Dutta, General Secretary Kushal Das and I-League CEO Sunando Dhar present.

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