Debasis Sen, Kolkata: India will have one league from next season, announced AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John here on Wednesday. The AFC General Secretary made it clear that as per the constitution of the Asian Football Confederation, there is no provision of having two leagues.
“In our (Asian Football Confederation) statutes we have one country one league. It’s in the constitution that one country will have one league. We just gave a provision for a transition period, that’s all. One league is for sure,” said Windsor.
On being asked about the possibility of having two leagues (ISL & I League) getting merged in near future, the AFC general secretary said,
“I have not seen the report yet. So once we see the report we will sit down with 2-3 experts. On one side is the legacy of these two clubs East Bengal and Mohun Bagan while on the other side we have these franchisees. How do take the best of both for Indian football. I think that should be the focal point rather than talking about merger.”
He further added, “We have to sit with the AIFF and ISL and discuss on the report because these two clubs has a tremendous legacy. We are very conscious about their contribution to Indian football. If Indian football is alive it’s because of these two clubs.”
All India Football Secretary Kushal Das who was present today at the Salt Lake Stadium to watch the FIFA U17 World Cup semi final between Brazil and England also confirmed that there will be one league from next season.
“There will be only a top league from next season. In this case the top league will be the ISL. There will be I League I & II as well,” said Mr Kushal Das to the reporters here.
He also clarified that the participation fees of 15 crore has to be paid by both the Kolkata giants.
‘There will be no compromise with the participation fees. Both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan will have to pay the participation fees in order to play in the ISL,” said AIFF general secretary.