Roadmap in the best interest of Indian football
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said the proposed roadmap is in the best interest of all stake holders of Indian football.
"We now have a roadmap which provides the best opportunity for Indian club football. I would like to thank the AFC - and its General Secretary - for their contribution in proposing a solution to this unique problem. India is an important country for football in Asia," he said.
"We have to be financially sustainable and take into consideration all commercial and contractual aspects of this plan because commerce is key to football not only in India but across the world of football.
"We must be cognisant of that fact of football life, that footballing legacy and investment are equally important for the development of Indian football," Das added.
The proposal will now be presented to the AFC Executive Committee and the AIFF Executive Committee for approval.
As per the proposed roadmap in 2019-20 season, the ISL will attain the status of premier league competition in Indian football.
Besides as a special compensation to India, the AFC will allow the winning ISL club to represent India in the AFC Champions League play-offs, and the I-League winner will get to play the AFC Cup play-off.
Another key recommendation by the AFC is to open a pathway for two I-League clubs' entry into the ISL by the end of the 2020-21 season, subject to the criteria being fulfilled.
In addition, starting with the 2022-23 season, the winner of I-League will stand a chance to be promoted to the ISL with no participation fee, basis fulfilling sporting merit and the national club licensing criteria to be set out by the AIFF.
Relegation and promotion
There will be no relegation in the ISL at this time. In its recommendation for 2024-25, it is agreed to fully implement promotion and relegation into the top league, and abolition of two parallel leagues.
The proposal was floated in June by the AIFF when it announced that the ISL would take over from the I-League India's AFC Champions League qualifier slot from 2019-20.
This effectively means the ISL takes over as India's top-tier football league. I-League clubs had initially protested and asked for the introduction of promotion and relegation to allow them take part in the ISL.