With comparisons aplenty between I-League and the newly-started Indian Super League, FIFA and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) said that the older league will always get priority.
"I-league is the only league in India. You can not have two leagues in a country. We will not call ISL a league, though it's a good platform for budding talent," FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke categorically said on Wednesday. (Grassroots not Indian Super League Should be Focus for India: FIFA)
AIFF also made it clear that I-league will continue to enjoy the numero uno status, whereas the now-becoming popular ISL will help the game reach newer boundaries in the uncharted sporting territory.
"I-league is the league of India whereas ISL is a short-term booster," AIFF president Praful Patel said. The AIFF president also believed that all ISL clubs will eventually progress into the I-league.
"Some of ISL clubs have already started thinking about how they can merge into the I-league," Patel said.
Meanwhile, AIFF is also mulling to change the timing slot for the ISL matches from 7 pm to 8 pm.
"We are in a discussion with the broadcaster over changing the timing of ISL matches. Nothing has been finalised yet," Patel said.