Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel said on Friday he will talk to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) regarding the Aizawl FC playing in the top division next season.
Aizawl, the club from Mizoram which surprised one and all to win the I-League this season, have made a formal application to the AIFF on Tuesday to continue being a part of the top division after it emerged that it would have no place in the restructured domestic tournament that AIFF and its commercial partners IMG-Reliance are planning to launch in November this year.
Asked to comment on the matter, Goel who was in the city to inspect the Salt Lake Stadium ahead of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, said: "I have not got a letter from anyone. But as you are saying, I have also heard. I will table this problem of the I-Leaggue in front of All India Football Federation and will talk to them."
In the re-jigged Indian Super League (ISL), the existing eight ISL franchises will be joined by at least three I-League clubs. But Aizawl, who became the first club from the north-east to win the country's premier domestic tournament, are not a part of the merger plans. Instead, the AIFF is supposedly in talks with Bengaluru FC, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
In a statement, the club said they had submitted a "formal claim to the AIFF to continue in the top league even after proposed merger of the existing top league with the ISL".