The All India Football Federation on Friday invited bids for new clubs to join the I-League from the 2023-24 season onwards.

Under the FIFA Vision 2047 plan issued by FIFA earlier this year, the federation plans to increase the number of I-League teams in a three-tier system in order to provide opportunities for ambitious clubs and/or investors from different socio-economic backgrounds.

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New Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Gurugram, Chennai, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Guwahati and Noida have been identified as Tier 1 cities where potential clubs can apply for a place in the I-League.

Tier 2 cities selected for bids are Ranchi, Itanagar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Phagwara, Coimbatore, Manjeri, Thiruvananthapuram, Bhopal and Shillong.

According to the call for bids, the winning bidder will be awarded the right to own and operate a new football club from 2023 onwards, FIFA said in a statement.

Invitation to bids can be obtained from Football House in New Delhi or via email between 7th and 22nd May on payment of Rs 5 lakh.

On May 1, the AFC Executive Committee also proposed to invite bids from clubs who wish to be from Tier 3 cities.

Entities from any village under the control of the panchayat can also bid, provided they own a stadium and training facilities no more than 200 kilometers from any local airport.

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The committee recommended that the bid value for potential tier 1 and 2 clubs should be a minimum of ₹5 crore and ₹2.5 crore respectively, while the same for tier 3 bidders should be a minimum of ₹1 crore.

“The teams with the highest bid value will be given preference in selection, and no support will be given to teams entering the first league, in the first two consecutive seasons,” the committee said.

“All teams bidding will be required to pay 50 percent of their bid values ​​as a participation fee until the year the team plays in the league, for a maximum of three years.” The winning bids from Tier 1 and 2 cities will have immunity from relegation for two seasons, while the same immunity from Tier 3 cities will be for one season.

Bidders from tier 1 cities must have a minimum net worth of Rs 100 crores, bidders from tier 2 cities must have a minimum net worth of Rs 50 crores, while the same for tier 3 bidders will be 40 crores AIFF said after the executive committee meeting.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is republished from a syndicated news agency feed.)


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