Bagan Write To AFC, AIFF For Continental Slot, EB To Follow
Kolkata, May 12 (IANS) City football giants Mohun Bagan on Friday shot letters to All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Praful Patel and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) General Secretary Dato Windsor John asking them to reserve two AFC slots for I-League clubs as has been the norm so far.
The AIFF last Saturday had ruled out an immediate merger of the I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL), deciding that the former will remain the country’s top-tier competition for now.
Earlier, it was mooted that ISL will be named the official league with 11 teams, including Bengaluru FC, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.
But after Aizawl FC became the first team from Northeast to win the I-League and threatened to fast unto death if they were to be relegated, the landscape changed. Despite being the champions, Aizawl would have been relegated if ISL was made the main league as they did not have any place in the franchise league.
“We have sent a letter to AIFF and AFC asking them to stick to what (Praful) Patel had told us when we met in Mumbai. The I-League, he said, would remain the official league and, therefore, we want I-League clubs to get AFC Champions League and AFC Cup slots,” Mohun Bagan General Secretary Anjan Mitra told IANS over phone.
“No tournament should supersede this,” he added hinting at the Indian Super League (ISL) which is set to take the Federation Cup’s AFC slot.
Arch-rival East Bengal will also follow suit. “We will also send a letter to them,” East Bengal General Secretary Kalyan Majumdar told IANS.
On Thursday, the ISL invited bids from interested parties to enroll and participate in the next edition.
Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), which has been organising ISL since its inception in 2014 under the sanction of the AIFF, will be floating the tender through ‘Invitation To Bid’ (ITB) to be available on working days from May 12-24.
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