ISL teams eligible for AFC Cup

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Indian Super League backer Mukesh Ambani with his wife Anita. AFP

MUMBAI (AFP) – Asia’s football governing body has dealt a major boost to the Indian Super League by ruling that its franchise-based teams will be eligible for the AFC Cup from next year.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said that the winners of the glitzy tournament, which is backed by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, will go into the continental competition’s qualifying round.

It said it had acted on a recommendation from the All India Football Federation (AIFF), which is grappling with how best to accommodate two rival leagues – the ISL and the older I-League.

“The Committee approved that the I-League champions will play in the AFC Champions League Play-off round and the ISL Champions will play in the AFC Cup preliminary stage… from 2018”.

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