Eight premier I-league clubs namely Mohun Bagan, Chennai City FC, Aizawl FC, Neroca FC, Minerva Punjab FC, Churchill Brothers and Gokulam Kerala FC, have appealed together to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for a unified league from next year onwards.
The demand came in the backdrop of a possible merger of Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League in the coming future. Since the ISL is headed by Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), which is a joint venture between IMG-Reliance and Star Network, the I-League clubs fear that after the merger, they would be relegated to the second tier of the Indian football, goal.com reported.
These clubs do not want FSDL to run the top tier of Indian football. Their point is that the top division league of the country should be operated by the AIFF itself and not by some private entity.
The clubs want to arrange a meeting with AIFF president Praful Patel and discuss what the future holds for the league as they are against their relegation to second division due to structural changes in the leagues.
I-League clubs have also raised questions over FSDL’s role in Indian football. They have indicated that the interference by FSDL in Indian football is very clear.