Aizawl FC had scripted history on Sunday by clinching their maiden I-League title after defying all odds. However, their future in Indian football seems in jeopardy after reports of a merger between ISL and I-league began.
The merger only allows three I-League clubs to participate in the tournament apart from the already existing 8 ISL teams.
Also read: Aizawl FC create history, win maiden I-League title
The AIFF and their commercial partners IMG-Reliance are considering East Bengal FC, Bengaluru FC, and Mohun Bagan worthy of the honour.
“If no positive response is received from AIFF, the club will approach central sports minister, prime minister of India and also president of AFC,” the statement stated.
“If all these steps are failed, the club will have no other choice but will resort to worldwide protests, sitting demonstration near AFC/FIFA offices, picketing of AIFF office, mass hunger strike/fast unto death protest,” the statement read.
However, an official from the All India Football Federation, as quoted by The Indian Express said things will get clearer after Saturday’s meeting.
“Aizawl’s win has put the federation in a tight spot. Things should be clearer after Saturday’s meeting. Till then, it’s tough to speculate what will happen,” an AIFF official said.
Aizawl’s owner Robert Royte admitted he expected the AIFF to include Aizawl in the ISL.
“How can the reigning champions be relegated to second division? We will not accept it, no chance. We will be playing in the Asian competitions. How silly will it be if the India’s champions are playing in Asia but back home, they are not allowed to play in the main league?” Royte said.