Amateur players need professional window registration to play in I-League, says AIFF

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) cleared the confusion over the participation of amateur players in the Hero I-League 2021-22 on Sunday, saying they can only play if they are registered in the professional window. The AIFF said that those players who want to play in the I-League will have to register in the professional registration window.

“As per the AIFF Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players 2021 (AIFF RSTP) amateur players may only participate in professional competitions (i.e., the Hero I-League) should such amateur players be registered in the professional registration window,”: the AIFF said in a statement.

“Earlier this year a decision was taken that only professional players would be allowed to participate in the Hero I-League 2021-22. However, keeping in mind the clubs being promoted from the 2nd division, the League committee created an exception to allow the participation of amateur players till the 31st of December 2021 if they were already registered with such clubs in a professional registration period as per the AIFF RSTP,” said the Indian football regulatory body.

“Following the recommendation of the League Committee, the matter was referred to the Players Status & Registration, and the Legal departments for their necessary inputs, who acted as per the statutes of the RSTP. It is pertinent to note that FIFA has approved the AIFF RSTP. In this regard, the AIFF is bound to respect its own rules which are in consonance with the FIFA RSTP,” the statement read.

“Therefore, the AIFF is not in a position to allow any amateur players registered outside the professional registration window to take the field for the Hero I-League 2021-22 till they sign professional contracts and register themselves as professionals in the second transfer window of the 2021-22 season which opens on January 1, 2022,” the AIFF said.

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