The All-India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Competition Committee has recommended the launch of the inaugural edition of the pan-India Institutional Football League in January 2024.
The league will be a pan-India amateur football competition to boost institutional football and encourage players’ recruitment by Private Corporations, Public Sector units, State Departments, Ministerial units, Police/Defence/Paramilitary Forces (Unit-Level) and Railways (Division-level), the AIFF said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Committee recommended the introduction of the Institutional Football League following a virtual meeting held on Tuesday to discuss the way forward for various domestic competitions in the country. The meeting was held in the presence of AIFF Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran along with Deputy Secretary General Satyanarayan M. Members of the Competition Committee, Mohan Lal (Chhattisgarh), Syed Imtiaz Husain (Bihar), K. Neibou Sekhose (Nagaland), Bikramjit Purkayastha (Delhi), and Aslam Ahmed Khan (Karnataka), attended the meeting.
The Committee decided that a single-division competition format would be followed for the Institutional Football League if fewer than 16 teams were in the fray. If more than 16 teams participate in the league, a multiple-division format will be followed.
The first division will have 10 teams and the promotion-relegation system between the divisions will be applicable. Furthermore, the Committee recommended that the League format be decided in consultation with the selected teams. The winners and runners-up teams will be awarded direct entry into the Federation Cup 2024, the AIFF informed in a release.
The committee also recommended that the host State Associations for the final rounds of the Senior Men’s/Women’s National Football Championships should be given a direct berth and exempted from participating in the group stages of the competition.