AFC for one league, says John

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) general secretary Dato Windsor John made it clear that that contribution of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal is impossible to forget. "We cannot forget their supporters' base. We are conscious of their contribution to Indian football. If today football is alive in India, it is because of them," Dato said at the Salt Lake stadium on Wednesday.

By A staff reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 26.10.17
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Calcutta: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) general secretary Dato Windsor John made it clear that that contribution of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal is impossible to forget. "We cannot forget their supporters' base. We are conscious of their contribution to Indian football. If today football is alive in India, it is because of them," Dato said at the Salt Lake stadium on Wednesday.

"On one side there are the legacy clubs. On the other side are the modern clubs. How do we take the best of both for Indian football. I think that should be the focal point rather than merger," he added.

At present the I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL) run simultaneously. But AFC's view is to have a single league. "AFC is always for one country one league. We just gave a provision for a transition. One league is sure. I have to see reports and then we need to sit with AIFF and ISL," the AFC secretary said.

"No. I am not sure if you are aware there was a big (meeting). I have not seen the report yet. Once we see the report two-three experts will take a call on what is to be done," he added.

The AFC had a all-stakeholders' meeting earlier this year where it was decided that for the short term I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL) will take place simultaneously while in the longer run there has to be one league.

All India Football Federation (AIFF) general secretary Kushal Das added that they are trying to merge the two leagues by next year. "There will be one league. It's not been decided yet. Dates but most likely it will be from next season," Das said. "They have to fulfil the criteria. They have to pay participation fee. There cannot be compromise on that," Das added.