The letter also talks about the alleged Master Rights Agreement (MRA) between the AIFF and FSDL.

The All India Football Federation has come under immense scrutiny in the last few days over reports that it is set to render the ISL as the nation’s premier football league, while leaving the clubs in the I-League in limbo.

Several of the clubs in the I-League have voiced their dissatisfaction with the news, with a few clubs even threatening to drag the apex body to court if such a decision is is passed. The latest of the I-League teams to make their voice heard is Chennai City FC.

The Coimbatore-based club have written an open letter to AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das, addressing their concerns over the ISL being declared as the top tier of Indian football. The reigning I-League champions also issued a reminder to the AIFF, that they are yet to receive the prize money for their I-League triumph and that regardless of the decision, the body must honour their standing commitments to the club.


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The letter stated that there was no communication from Indian football’s governing body about the possibility of such a decision. The lack of denial of the same was termed as “appalling” by the club, who acknowledged that it was within the rights of the AIFF to award the title of the top tier league in the country to the ISL should they so wish, but also that doing so would be highly unethical.

Chennai City have requested a special invite to the meeting of the Executive Committee of the AIFF that is scheduled to take place on 3rd July, after which the announcement is likely to be made. CCFC want to be a part of the meeting, either alone, as the reigning champions of the I-League or collectively, with the rest of the I-League clubs.

The Master Rights Agreement that the southerners cite in this letter is an agreement between the AIFF and its commercial partner, the FSDL, which states that the ISL is to be made the first tier of football in India and consecutively, the I-League would be either temporarily or permanently suspended.

Chennai City also pointed out the effect such a decision would have on the coaches, players and backroom staff, who have worked to make the I-League what it is and that the decision would do more harm to football in the country than good.

The AIFF has since condemned the premature uproar by the clubs before any decision has been announced.