I-League clubs must find a way to stay – AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das

Das also supported the roadmap for Indian football which will see relegation and promotion between all leagues over the next five years.

Indian Football Association (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das believes new clubs joining the I-League should have a sustainable model.

In the past, many clubs have closed or withdrew from the I-League, but clubs like Chennai City FC have invested in the league and performed well. Now Sudeva Delhi and Sreenidhi are set to make their mark in the I-League starting in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons respectively.

“I think it’s a scenario (the closing of clubs) isn’t just in India but across Asia. The clubs must find a method to maintain themselves. We are always there to support them in terms of technical support and advice, but ultimately the clubs. will have to be maintained.

“I believe some of the newer clubs (Sudeva and Sreenidhi) that are coming in have a pretty good sustainable model. They understand that if it is important to get into the top league, they have to come in a way that they can support themselves, ”he said.

With Mohun Bagan and East Bengal deciding to join the Indian Super League (ISL), Das backed the roadmap for Indian football that would allow an I-League club to be promoted to the highest level on merit sport by the 2023-24 season before the 2025-26 season will also be open to relegated clubs from the ISL.

“I think we’ve already given a very clear roadmap as to how the I-League, ISL and the whole Indian structure fits into the whole scenario and everyone has accepted that.

“We have Mohammedan Sporting in Calcutta. We have a new team in Sudeva and in the future we will have more teams from places like Vizag (Sreenidhi) etc. So I don’t think the I-League will lose its relevance in any way. All the leagues will have relevance there. “

And while the 2020-21 I-League is set to kick off on Saturday, Das mentioned that even though government regulations allow 50% participation in outdoor sports, no risk can be taken in hoping youth tournaments and the like. resume the next. season.

“Regardless of government regulations, we believe the health of players and officials is of utmost importance. We are therefore not in a position to take any risks. So even if the government allows us to have a certain crowd, we can consider doing it. forward, ”he said.