AIFF stresses on 27 matches a season for ISL clubs; Transfer window dates to be finalised later

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis the AIFF executive committee has decided to defer the Summer transfer window…

The Executive Committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided to postpone the start of the summer transfer window amidst the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.

The summer transfer window for India was supposed to stat on June 9 and ends on August 31. But due to the prevalent uncertainty over when the game can safely resume, India’s apex governing body has decided to reschedule the window. However, the length of the window is not going to be curtailed and is going to remain the same.

The new dates for the same will be announced once the Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League schedule for the upcoming season is finalised.

There is no timeframe yet on when the upcoming seasons of the Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League will kick-off, making the postponement of the transfer market operations logical for the clubs.

Unless the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) or the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issues a fresh directive on when to resume live sports in the country, the AIFF will be unable to fix a start date to both the tournaments.

Moreover, it is still not clear when the European transfer market will resume business as the top leagues are grappling to finish the 2019-20 season. So if any Indian club wants to sign a player who is plying his trade in Europe, it might lead to complexities. 

The Executive Committee also suggested that ISL clubs have to conform to the AFC regulations that require clubs to play a minimum of 27 matches for them to gain eligibility to play in the AFC Champions League. Especially since the league stage winners of the ISL are now awarded a direct spot in the group stages of the AFC Champions League.

The committee also stated that the aforementioned development would help Indian players improve and progress in their career. However, due to the delays expected due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it is unlikely that ISL clubs will be able to play 27 matches in the 2020-21 season.

Meanwhile, AIFF President Praful Patel urged the ISL and I-League clubs to put together women’s teams which will compete in the Indian Women’s League (IWL). “Women’s football in India cannot be sustainable without participation from clubs,” he said.

The committee also mentioned that the AIFF Futsal Club Championship will kick the next season off, with ISL and I-League clubs encouraged to send teams to the competition. It is learnt that Manipur, have provisionally, agreed to host the tournament.

With the I-League second division and other tournaments stopped midway through due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Executive Committee also decided that the Comeptition Committee will convene later and come up with a calendar to compete these tournaments once there is clarity on when live sports can be resumed.

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