Acting on the recommendation of its technical director Isac Doru, the All India Football Federation’s league committee on Friday proposed doing away with relegation for last season’s I-League considering the extraordinary circumstances arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Citing examples of footballing nations from across the world, Doru had recommended that no team should be demoted this season.
“The committee agreed, and recommended to the executive committee that no team should be relegated from the Hero I-League, and that Neroca FC be granted permission to compete in the 2021-22 edition of the Hero I-League subject to getting the requisite license as per the decision of the club licensing committee,” the AIFF said in a statement.
Manipur-based club Neroca FC had finished at the bottom of the table in the last I-League. The federation’s all-powerful executive committee will take a final decision on the matter soon.
Doru drew examples from 23 countries, including the Netherlands (Eredivisie), Argentina (Liga Profesional de Futbol), Mexico (Liga MX), Romania (Liga 1), Japan (J-League and J2-League), on how they have “frozen relegation” and help the teams in difficult times.
“I have been in conversation with all club coaches during the pandemic and everyone mentioned the challenges faced — which included short duration for preparation, reduced training hours, difficulties in organising friendly matches, transfer problems among others,” Doru said in the meeting.