Mohun Bagan write to AFC, AIFF; want I-League clubs to play AFC competitions

Kolkata: Mohun Bagan on Friday wrote a letter to Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to maintain status quo regarding the allotment of AFC Cup slots as they expressed concern at the possibility of All India Football Federation (AIFF) giving one spot to Indian Super League winning team as per a proposal.

"The AIFF wants to give one slot to ISL to play in the AFC Cup. As per the meeting in Mumbai, I-League is the only official league so there's no need to change the existing system," Mohun Bagan general secretary Mitra said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

As of now, the I-League winners automatically play the AFC Champions League play-off while the runners-up play the AFC Cup in two berths which has been guaranteed for a few seasons.

But in the recent AFC Congress, the AIFF has sought for an extra berth in an apparent move to allow the quota to the winners of the ISL which is not deemed official.

"We have written to the AFC secretary and the AIFF president to maintain the status-quo. The I-League would remain the official league and, therefore, we want I-League clubs to get to play the AFC Champions League qualifiers and AFC Cup."

As the AIFF's merger plan has failed to see the light of the day, the I-League will remain official going side by side with the ISL which will be played on weekends across seven months in the new proposal.

Such a move is set to hugely affect Mohun Bagan which get most of its players on loan from ISL.

But it seemed a doorway is still kept open for the two teams to come under one umbrella.

The Football Sports Development Limited, organisers of the ISL, has invited bids from 10 cities including that of Kolkata.

Updated Date: May 12, 2017 22:02 PM

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