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AIFF set to grant AFC Cup slot to ISL winners: Sources

A day before the crucial meeting between the I-League clubs and AIFF here tomorrow, it is reliably learnt that the national body is more inclined to offer the AFC Cup play-off slot to Indian Super League champions.

Officials involved in the intense negotiation in the past few days claimed that the All India Football Federation has more or less made up its mind to allot the AFC Cup play-off spot to ISL winners, instead of the giving it to the winner of a tournament which will have two or four teams each from the I-League and ISL.

"Yes, the AIFF is willing to grant the AFC Cup play-off berth to ISL. It will communicate this final decision to the stakeholders soon. This is a shot in the arm for ISL," an official involved in the negotiations on the issue said. But, nobody from the AIFF is not coming on record to confirm the development. This comes after the AIFF's Executive Committee Meeting where its president Praful Patel batted for the ISL and the I-League to be run simultaneously from this coming season. The AIFF had also it Special General Meeting before the Executive Committee meeting on Thursday. Granting the AFC Cup play-off berth to ISL winners would mean that ISL would no longer be a private tournament but a recognised league under the aegis of the AIFF, AFC and FIFA. The AIFF will, however, have to get the approval from the Asian Football Confederation regarding this decision.
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