‘Important decisions’ on proposed new league in AIFF’s domain: AFC
Margao, Sep 28: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Wednesday said all "important decisions" on a proposed Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League merger to form a composite national competition solely depends on the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
AFC also said that any decision on the structure of the tournament is for the AIFF's executive committee to take and not for them. But AFC is "happy to give support and advice", it added.
AFC earlier set up a joint task force with AIFF to formulate a new roadmap for the sport in the country on August 23.
An AIFF delegation, led by General Secretary Kushal Das, visited the AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last month. It was decided that the joint initiative will discuss about the future roadmap of domestic football in the country.
"The AFC is happy to give support and advice but the important decisions on the format of the proposed new league are purely the domain of the AIFF," AFC General Secretary Windsor John said in an AIFF release.
"We had fruitful discussions on the status of league football in India. The AIFF's plans for the proposed league structure were again discussed but the AFC is extremely clear on this matter. Any decisions on the structure of the game in India are for the AIFF Executive Committee – not the AFC," he added.
Terming the first task force meeting here on Wednesday as "extremely positive", John said: "The task force meeting was extremely positive and the AFC identified areas in which we can assist the development of football in India — which is a key to AFC's vision of increasing engagement in the sport."
The task force agreed on the scope of its remit, in addition to discussing issues such as development, club licensing, competitions, encompassing rankings, and the development of officials such as referees in the country.
AIFF general secretary Kushal Das also expressed his satisfaction about the discussions, adding that AFC's experience in restructuring of the game in other countries will be helpful in determining the best possible guidelines.
AIFF earlier on Tuesday presented its plans to both AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and the game's global governing body FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
The task force is yet to decide a future date for their next meeting.