India will have two national football leagues from 2017-18

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has confirmed the fact that there will be two football leagues in India from the 2017-18 season. The Indian Super League (ISL) and the I-League will be held simultaneously, over a five-month period, while the long-term would be framed after the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will take place in India this October. The letter of consent reached AIFF on Wednesday from AFC’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and came one day before the AIFF again meets representatives of I-League clubs.

At least for this season, the I-League winners will participate in the 2019 Asian Champions League qualifiers. However, if they will fail to qualify, they will receive an automatic berth in the AFC Cup, which is the continent’s second-tier competition. The qualifying slot for the AFC Cup had been give to the Federation Cup winners before the AFC changed the system, but now the winners of the 10-team ISL will get a qualifying place. This is a good news for Bengaluru FC as they have been a solid side throughout this competition. They have been runners-up last year and made the zonal Semi-finals this year.

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