I-League to kick off on September 21
Football tournament, I-League will flagoff on September 21 with 14 teams in the fray
New Delhi: The country’s top football tournament, I-League will kick off on September 21 with 14 teams in the fray, with a three month gap provided for the IPL-style football league in January-March next year.
Defending champions Churchill Brothers will take on Salgaocar FC in the opening match of the 26-round league at Duler in Goa.
The schedule was finalized in a meeting of representatives of all I-League clubs with All India Football Federation officials here.
The AIFF announced that Pailan Arrows outfit has been disbanded “due to major financial and infrastructural problems” and the I-League will be a 14-team affair.
It was also decided to drop the plan to hold the Federation Cup tournament in home and away basis and instead to conduct it in the group and knockout format for this year. The tournament will be held in January 1-12 next year. The venue is yet to be decided.
“All the clubs unanimously decided to revert back to the previous format of Federation Cup only for the year 2013-14 season after discussing in detail about the pros and cons of the new format and the cramped scheduling of I-League and Federation Cup calendar,” I-League Chief Executive Sunando Dhar said in a release.
“The meeting was a fruitful one. The fixtures were discussed in detail with all club representatives. Everyone was given a chance to voice their concerns and only after hearing them did we finalize the fixtures for the upcoming I-League Season,” he said.
“Broadcasting timings were also discussed in detail in order to grab more eyeballs watching the I-League,” he added.