I-League clubs have written a letter to Asian Football Confederation (AFC) general secretary Datuk Seri Windsor John and former general secretary, All India Football Federation (AIFF), Kushal Das on 25 April, requesting to promote league winner into the Indian Super League (ISL) with no participation fee.
Clubs have also demanded that on the basis of fulfilling the sporting merit and the national club licensing criteria to be set out by the AIFF, winner of I-league should be included in the ISL from the 2022-23 season.
"Since the winner of I-League 2022-23 will be promoted to ISL and in view of the recent changes made in the football calendar by the AFC, we require more clarity on the decision taken by the AIFF to have a single leg final match between the winner of the I-League season 2021-22 and the winner of I-League season 2022-23 to eventually take part in AFC cup competition in 2022-23 season," the clubs wrote in a letter.
"With regards to inclusion of I-league winner into the ISL, starting with the 2022-23 season, the winner of I-League will stand a chance to be promoted to the ISL with no participation fee, on the basis of fulfilling the sporting merit and the national club licensing criteria to be set out by the AIFF. There will be no relegation in the ISL at this time," the clubs said.
The clubs urged the AFC and AIFF to make clarification about the inclusion of I-league clubs in the ISL. The clubs also demanded to hold a workshop for all the stakeholders to discuss and deliberate on the future course of action to be taken for the best interest of Indian Football.
In a recent interview to Times of India the I-League CEO Sunando Dhar had said that the I-League clubs have written to the AFC and AIFF, seeking clarity on the roadmap, approved by the continental body during its executive committee meeting in Vietnam.