former India Captain Climax Lawrence believes that the 2022-23 League One season is set to become a very attractive encounter where the eventual champions will have the opportunity to qualify for the Indian Premier League under the criteria of the AFC-approved roadmap.
“I am really excited about the prospects. Indian football will rise to new heights and raise hopes for clubs in the years to come,” said Climax, who is currently a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and Technical Committee.
According to the roadmap, the winners of the 2022-23 and 2023-24 I-League seasons will get a chance to be promoted to the ISL without any participation fee, which is essential fulfillment of club licensing criteria.
“The roadmap is absolutely perfect for Indian football going forward. This was a much-needed step for the development of Indian football,” said the former IBF midfielder.
Climax was an integral part of the Indian team from 2003 until he decided to hang up his boots in 2012. The 2005 AIFF Player of the Year was a star on the local football circuit and won the National Football League and Football League. I-League several times while playing for Goa giants, Salgaocar FC and Dempo FC.
Climax said, “As a player, I feel this move has been much awaited and we will see more talent coming through the I-League. The All India Football Federation and all other stakeholders in the game have done a great job to bring about this change in Indian football. It will add a lot of Value from a business and marketing point of view.
“The I-League will be more competitive this season because everyone will be fighting for that place at the top, which gives them license to play ISL. It will be very exciting to see what the clubs have to offer in terms of matches and strategies,” said the former captain.
We feel the peak since following the roadmap, clubs in each state will play their best and fans can experience a lot of competitiveness from the stands. “I would like to see more teams in the I-League. More teams, a longer league and better opportunities for more players,” he said.
“Everyone has wanted to start promotion in the I-League for a long time – the clubs, the state associations, the players and the fans – and now when that happens, I’m sure the clubs will be prepared to put up a tough fight for each of their opponents.
“As a player I played in the NFL and then League One. I wanted to play in the ISL but it didn’t happen since I was retired by then. Now that I know clubs can qualify for the ISL Championship, I’m so happy that players will finally get a chance to experience Something new,” Climax said.
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