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Kalyan Chaubey believes I-League 3 to be 'transformative step for Indian football'

Published at :April 22, 2024 at 7:05 PM
Modified at :April 22, 2024 at 7:05 PM
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Kalyan Chaubey also lauded SC Bengaluru’s remarkable feats this season.

Kalyan Chaubey, President, All India Football Federation (AIFF) has called the introduction of I-League 3 – a bridge for semi-professional club to turn pro by competing for national honour.

Complementing Sporting Club Bengaluru for scripting a dream run by gaining three back-to-back promotional spots in one season (from being a State League champion to earning a place in next I-League for 2024-25), Kalyan Chaubey said, “SC Bengaluru story is a testament of the balanced domestic pyramid we now have, which make it possible for club to get a jumpstart to their campaign in such fashion.”

Reviewing a near complete men’s competition for 2023-24, Kalyan Chaubey said that the changes brought in for the season will have a wide-ranging positive impact on the domestic football competition in years to come.

“We have already witnessed what a SC Bengaluru could achieve in one year. I believe the introduction of I-League 3 was the missing piece of the puzzle, which we now have put in place in our structure. We believe that this (I-League 3) foundation is a ‘transformative step for Indian football’, as it complements the existing layers of competitions interlinked in perfect balance to provide a supporting and progressive pyramid,” said Kalyan Chaubey.

While SC Bengaluru has won the I-League 2 and confirmed of a I-League promotion spot in upcoming season, the second spot is turning to be a much-promised two-way battle between Dempo SC (24 pts) and Sudeva Delhi FC (23 pts). I-League 2 final round will be played on 27 April, 2024 with simultaneous four match kick-offs in Goa (2), Mumbai, Bengaluru.

“SC Bengaluru will be a club to watch for next season. Who knows a debutant I-League club could be knocking the doors of ISL as early as 2025-26 season?” says Chaubey, adding, “This year we had only 25 teams competing in I-League 3. I hope next season, we will be able to showcase higher numbers. This will encourage State’s to conduct their top leagues in time.”

“Today we have a complete structure from sub junior (Under 13) to the top division. We have stepped up our domestic competition to a very competitive one. Our primarily objective was to sow the seeds in first year, which we believe will provide a stable structure and secondly will make our domestic seasons very competitive with more game time,” Kalyan Chaubey concluded.

Chaubey feels that it’s for the first time since 2008 that India now has a complete layered structure for men’s football, which interlinks at each stage and provides progressive pathway for clubs and players.

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