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ISL, I-League likely to run simultaneously for 2017-18 season

IANS logoIANS 08-06-2017

For the long-term fix, a commission would be instituted which will try and prepare a roadmap by the end of the year as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) had asked for in a stakeholders' meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

"There was nothing in pen and paper but verbally the idea was taken on board by the President," an AIFF official present during the executive committee and special general meeting held here on Thursday told IANS.

Another AIFF official explained that due to the availability of only a six-month window (November-April), it is not possible to have both leagues separately.

"The ISL is expected to have more teams and therefore it won't be possible to have both I-League and ISL going on separately. Indian national team will also have their AFC Asian Cup qualifiers and then India will play the SAFF Championship in May.

"There is little option but to do the leagues together. Details are yet to be chalked out but will have to be done soon," another AIFF official informed on the condition of anonymity.

It was learnt that the AIFF had been asked to go for this short-term solution by IMG-R, their commercial and marketing partners.

Further, Patel has urged clubs to meet him on Saturday in New Delhi.

Kolkata clubs East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are learnt to be keenly interested in the meeting as their fate still hangs in the balance. The pair have maintained that they would not pay a franchise fee of Rs 15 crore to be part of the ISL and would want money from the central pool.

It is still unclear whether ISL will get the AFC slot or not.

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