The winner of the final phase will be awarded promotion to the top flight while the youth leagues will be organized by state associations.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) League Committee, which is chaired by the AIFF Senior Vice President Subrata Dutta gathered for a meeting at the AIFF Headquarters in New Delhi on Monday. The meeting decided on the changes to be made on the form and structure of the inaugural Super Cup and the I-League 2nd Division among other things.
Apart from the Senior Vice President, the meeting was also attended by Deputy Chairman Lalnghinglova Hmar, and committee members BK Roka, Anil Kumar and Chirag Tanna at Football House today. Other attendees included AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das, I-League CEO Sunando Dhar, AIFF COO Kishore Taid and AIFF AGS Competitions Anil Kamat who came together to decide on the above-mentioned topics.
As decided by the meeting, the I-League 2nd Division, as we know it, will be divided into two phases i.e. the Preliminary and the Final. The first of these two stages will host 18 teams, who will again be divided into three separate groups where fixtures will take place on a home and away basis. At the end of this particular stage, winners of every group will qualify for the ‘Final’ round along with the best second-placed team in the preliminary rounds.
Keeping qualification in mind, if reserve teams of the Indian Super League (ISL) clubs finish as the winners or the runners-up in any of the groups, the position will be passed onto the next non-ISL team.
The committee also decided that the Final round will be organized at a ‘central’ venue, where the winners of the phase will be promoted to the next tier of Indian Football.
On the topic of registering foreign players, the committee decided on allowing a maximum three foreigners to be registered by a club, with the criteria that one of these has to be the citizen of an AFC Member Association.
The meeting also decided on the much-anticipated youth leagues in India. The committee decided in favour of initiating inter-state age group leagues under the respective state football associations. Similar to the I-League 2nd Division, the top teams of every age group will also be allowed to participate in the AIFF age-group leagues.