AIFF confirms ISL to have relegation and promotion from 2024-25

Deepak Malik / ISL / SPORTZPICS

Relegation and promotion will be a part of the Indian Super League (ISL) from the 2024-25 season as this has been "agreed upon by all stakeholders", All India Football Federation general secretary Kushal Das said on Saturday.

Das also said the I-League winners will get "direct slots" in the top-tier ISL in 2022 and 2023.

Das said the AIFF was delighted at East Bengal finally getting an investor, clearing the decks for the century-old club to enter the ISL from this season itself.

He said the inclusion of the two iconic clubs -- Mohun Bagan and East Bengal -- in the ISL formed the basis of Indian football's road map.

"Going forward, in the next two-three years Indian football will have a structured road map in terms and relegation and promotion," Das told PTI.

"The road map is for the next two years... The winner of I-League will get a direct slot in ISL purely on sporting merit from 2022.

"Then, from 2024-25 there will be promotion, relegation where the bottom-placed team in ISL will be relegated to the second tier and the I-League winner will be promoted to ISL. This is the road map agreed by all stakeholders," he added.

He expressed further satisfaction at the recent developments concerning East Bengal, after months of uncertainty.

"We have always wanted Mohun Bagan and East Bengal to be in ISL. That was the basis for the whole road map, we have always believed legacy cannot be ignored. There were little bit of concerns but it's sorted now. Getting two fan-based clubs is a great thing for the ISL also.

"We have worked a lot for a long time. It required lots of consultations with the AFC (Asian Football Confederation), various stakeholders, the clubs and our commercial partners FSDL."

This year's ISL will be played in three venues across Goa and is likely to start in the later part of November amid strict health and safety measures to deal with the COVID-19 threat.