Indian Football

Draft constitution formulated by the CoA recognises I-League & not ISL as India's top football competition

Arjun Singh Devgan
The trophy for the winners of the Hero I-League
The trophy for the winners of the Hero I-League / Hero I-League

The I-League could retain it's status as the top football competition in India and not the Indian Super League (ISL), as per the draft constitution formulated by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA).

CoA members, former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi and ex-India captain Bhaskar Ganguli had submitted a draft constitution for the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to the Supreme Court in January 2020 - pointing out that the "I-League is the senior most top division league competition in India".

Point 33 of Article 1 of the draft states, "I-League is the seniormost top division league competition in India owned, operated and recognised by the AIFF." Point 58 of Article 1 states, "Seniormost top division league shall mean the league competition owned, operated and recognised by the AIFF, that implements the principles of promotion and relegation, and meets all requirements prescribed by the AFC for being eligible to obtain a direct slot in the Asian Champions League."

However, these are only recommendations at the moment and it is understood that likely to face opposition from various quarters, though it will be interesting to see what the Supreme Court decides to do as the final decision rests with them.

Earlier, the ISL, jointly organised by the AIFF and its commercial partners, was granted the top-tier status at the expense of I-League, as part of structural changes in the domestic game in India.