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EXCLUSIVE: Praful Patel not interested in Hero ISL-I League merger

Written by: Punit Tripathi

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No ISL – I league merger on the cards, source in AIFF inform Khel Now…

The Indian football fans have been expecting a merger of sorts by 2017. A lot has already been written about ISL and I-league joining together and the AIFF has been speaking a lot in its favor in the past. But for pro-merger fans, there’s some sad news.

The ISL – I League merger will not be happening anytime soon. Looking at the current state of affairs, the AIFF looks to be against the idea they’ve been supporting for the last two years. Khel Now has got exclusive information revealing there’s no merger happening in the next few years.

An internal source close to AIFF President Praful Patel has told Khel Now that the executive is not happy with the way ISL officials have treated him. Elected to give the runners-up award at the third season behind Nita Ambani, Praful Patel has been hurt and he has reportedly asked Kushal Das and co. to keep mum on any question about ISL and not to praise the cash-rich league. Thus, we infere that there would be no merger happening in the foreseeable future.

The source also informed Khel Now that if there’s any merger of sorts, ISL clubs will have to play in India’s premier footballing league (I-league) and not the other way round, which was suggested earlier in the merger plans suggested by the AIFF. The President has given a cold shoulder to the riches of the resplendent Indian Super League and does not want a merger to happen.

There has been no clear perspective but a lot has been talked about this in the past, and 2017 had been targeted as the last year for the respective leagues being played separately. If there’s a coming together, it has to be from ISL’s side, as the I-league would not be losing or changing its shape anytime soon.

 



Published: Fri Feb 10, 2017 05:05 PM IST

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