I-League Planned to Start in Next Month, Not Formally Announced By the AIFF

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Illustration — Chaos Soccer Gear/Unsplash

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the I-League season’s start probably postponed by a month from the previously scheduled date — League CEO Sunando Dhar said.

I-League was due to start in the latter part of next month, although the Indian Football Association has not officially announced it. The league is being played in a few venues in West Bengal — not the usual home and away matches due to the pandemic.

Sunando Dhar:

“We have a meeting with the owners of the I-League clubs a few days ago. The majority of them said that the situation in some parts of the country is still grim and, therefore, impossible to start the preseason. So they wanted to change the start date from November to December and the league end date from February to March.”

Dhar added:

“The AIFF would discuss the matter with the Association of Bengal (IFA) and check with the IFA and the state government. The league can start in December and will be decided very soon.”

The 11-team I-League will be played for over three months.

“We are learning about life in the bio-secure fizz every day, and we want to experience the I-League. This qualifying round only lasts a few days, but the I-League and ISL will last more than 100 days and will therefore be on a much larger scale”.

Speaking of the security protocols put in place in the bio-secure bubble for the qualifying tournament, he said:

“Only players and officials who reported negative RT-PCR results were allowed into the hotel. Those who are positive, they will be immediately quarantined in a separate area of ​​the hotel and will have no contact with others. Their food will be served in the room and not come out until a negative result.”

However, the AIFF would not hold the Indian Women’s League in its usual January-February slot (in 2021), but still hopes to lead it in May.