The expected Saturday humdinger will end another I-League season, one that survived Covid-19 and continued the recent tradition of downhill wiring. Since the 2022-23 season is the first in which I-League champions will be promoted to the Indian Super League (ISL), according to a path decided in 2019, the clubs wrote All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) )) because, according to the president of the Gokulam Kerala football club, VC Praveen, “(almost) three years have passed and we haven’t heard from anyone.”
The AIFF said his stance had not changed. “The road map is there and in 2023, the winners of the I-League will be promoted to the ISL without paying a franchise fee,” said AIFF Secretary General Kushal Das. “Similar in 2023-24. And after that, promotion and relegation will start (in ISL). This is an agreed structure in which all clubs were present in the AFC (in October 2019) and there are absolutely no changes as far as the AIFF is concerned. ”
A draft calendar for next season should be ready this month, Das said. The calendar will include all youth competitions, paused from 2019 due to Covid-19, starting with the national junior championship for women under 17 in Assam next month. From that competition, some girls could be asked to join a team preparing for the Under-17 World Cup in India later this year, he said.
The postponement of the Asian Games has opened the possibility for the senior men’s team to take advantage of Fifa’s last window in 2022, in September. “When the ISL starts, probably in October, it would be hard to get the clubs to let the players go, so the next national team engagement is likely to be after March,” he said.
India’s men’s national team is gearing up for the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers scheduled for June in Kolkata. If they make it to the finals – head coach Igor Stimac said he is confident it will happen – scheduled for June 2023, the earliest prep camp will be after the 2022-23 season, an AIFF official said.
The Indian U17 women’s national team, which will play in the 2022 World Cup from 11 to 30 October, is likely to prepare for the national team with matches in Europe in July, including a tournament in Norway and three friendly matches in August. A competition of three or four countries is also planned for September. The team is now training in Jamshedpur under the leadership of Swede Thomas Dennerby.
As with the senior women’s team ahead of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, the national championship selection could play a friendly match with India, another AIFF official said. The official, who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, also said talks were under way to schedule friendly matches against the U.S. Under-23 national team and Sweden under 23 for the senior women’s team this year.
Will these plans not be affected by a significant reduction in government support ₹HRK 5 million? “Preparing for a team under 17 is something we can’t ignore,” Das said. “Despite allegations of financial irregularities, we have one of the best procedures of budget control, cost control and approval. This has resulted in us helping to build a fairly healthy reserve. So we can work this out and, of course, I guess this will be temporary. ”
After saying that the reduction is “slightly unfair” because based on the average Fife rankings at the end of the year, India improved by more than 50 positions between 2010-2016. and 2016-2021, Das said he hoped the situation would change “when India qualifies for the Asian Cup” and that the sports secretary at the meeting told me that (the grant) would be considered ”.
Recorded cup competitions, the men’s season 2022-23 will last about eight months. It will start with the Durand Cup with 20 teams in September which will be “mandatory for all ISL clubs to play”. Last year, ATK Mohun Bagan and SC East Bengal were among the notable ISL teams that skipped the competition, the third oldest in the world. The season will end with the Super Cup of 20 clubs, again with all ISL teams. Both the Durand Cup and the Super Cup will also have I-League teams, Das said. The Super Cup has not been held since 2019.
From 2022 to 2023, a rule will also apply requiring states to hold leagues lasting at least two months and about 40-45 games. Apart from Goa, Punjab, Mizoram and Assam, none of the 31 affiliated AIFF units were able to do so in the women’s game last season. The corresponding number for the men’s league is 16. Das accepted that it is difficult to get state federations to have longer seasons because funds are a problem, but said: “AIFF told states that we will look at them if they come up with a good project separately.”
As the elections were delayed in litigation, the AIFF requested a new legal opinion. In 2017, a petition was filed with the Delhi High Court that the 2016 AIFF elections should be annulled because they did not follow the national sports code. The High Court appointed a trustee, and the AIFF filed a petition with the Supreme Court, arguing that such a move could lead to the withdrawal of recognition from Fife based on government interference. Stating that the AIFF could function without major financial and political decisions, the Supreme Court appointed two ombudsmen to revise its constitution.
“We haven’t heard from the Supreme Court about it,” Das said. The AIFF sought guidance from the Supreme Court in 2020 ahead of the election, but “dates are being given and dates are changing,” he said. “Many may believe that the AIFF is manipulating, but they can assure you that the AIFF is not so influential as to manipulate the country’s supreme court.”