INDIA FOOTBALL: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is looking to finalize the roadmap for the ISL and I-league merger in the next few months for a possible 2017-18 start and according to source the Kolkata giants MOHUN BAGAN and EAST BENGAL could well make an entry into the top league that will feature all ISL franchises alongside I-LEAGUE champions BENGALURU FC.
The AIFF general secretary Kushal Das have recently admitted that AIFF is looking to finalize the roadmap for the ISL-I-LEAGUE merger soon for a possible 2017-18 start and they are arriving at an amicable plan for the stakeholders soon because the delay has seen several I-league clubs withdraw from the competition, including stalwart Salgaocar from the next season.
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As AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said in an interview with IANS,
"If we don`t arrive at an amicable plan for the stakeholders, then the plan will be moved back for the 2018-19 season,"
As it appears that the All India Football Federation expect to wrap things up by Feb to March next year and launch the new format in 2017-18 but the number of teams to participate in the league is yet to be decided,
However, it is understood that Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal could well make an entry into the top league that will feature all ISL franchises alongside I-league champions Bengaluru FC.
As Kushal Das added, “The number of teams to participate in the league is yet to be decided,"
The president of AIFF Praful Patel also insisted that they are taking their time to come up with a well-thought out plan as they need it because they can’t take any shortcuts on this issue.
"We can`t take any shortcuts. We have to think of a well defined plan and all stakeholders have to be taken aboard. The time-frame spoken of is being set by everybody except us. We are step by step moving in the direction and I can`t say how many clubs will play in it,”