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ISL - Indian Super League
AIFF to merge 'ISL' and 'I-League' in 2018, confirms Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
In order to revamp the footballing structure in India, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) plans to merge the 'Indian Super League' and I-League.

The merger of India's two premier football competitions was confirmed by the AIFF to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports assuring that it is definitely deliberating over the amalgamation process between the two clubs in the near future.

A merger which was supposed to be finalised before the beginning of the current season was postponed because the AIFF could not make the arrangements over its plan in consensus with all stakeholders.

AIFF, however, assured that the merger will happen soon and regarding this, a roadmap is yet to be finalised.

In the latest developments of the issue, Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore confirmed in the Upper House of the Parliament that a merger is on the cards and said that the idea of the same is in its priority list.

"AIFF along with all its stakeholders has planned to restructure the club football model in India wherein there would be one unified league at the top followed by lower division leagues namely, League 1 and League 2 in line with global best practices," Rathore said.

In order to implement the merger process soon, the AIFF has sought help from the international governing body of football association - FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as well, Rathore informed.

"AIFF has taken the help of FIFA and AFC for smooth implementation of the aforesaid plan," Rathore added further.

The issue was recently taken up in the Upper House of the Parliament when West Bengal MP Ritabrata Banerjee asked Sports Minister Rathore whether the two leagues would be merged by next year.

However, there is no confirmation as yet if the relegation-promotion factor has been put in the plan by the AIFF.

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