Chhetri said that the AFC Cup spot should be awarded to the team that finishes on top of the ISL league table and not the victors of the final.

Sunil Chhetri calls for change in process of AFC selection for ISL teamsScreenshot
Sports Football Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 17:34

Current Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhetri who has been on the injured list for the last few games has taken to social media to call for a change in the allocation of Indian club teams for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.

The 34-year-old Indian football star called for the AFC Cup spot to be awarded to the team that finishes on top of the league table during the group stage of the Indian Super League (ISL) and not the victors of the final, which is how it has been chosen till now.

“I think when you work hard as a team for 18 weeks, you deserve to be called the champions of India. The minimum that you deserve is an AFC slot. I’m not saying it because of what’s happening right now. But last two years, I’ve played for clubs that have won the league and eventually lost the trophy,” Chhetri said in a video that was uploaded on his personal Twitter handle.

“The semi-finals are great for the fans, the atmosphere, everything is interesting and then they’re getting the ISL trophy. But I believe the AFC slot should go to the one who’ve worked so hard for 18 weeks because it’s not easy to be consistent for 18 weeks. I just hope that sooner or later, the rule changes,” he added.

In last year’s edition of the ISL, Bengaluru FC dominated the group stage and finished on top of the league but ended up losing to Chennaiyin FC at home in the finals. Last year was also the first time a team from the ISL (Bengaluru FC) had been given a spot in the AFC Cup.