2017 U-17 World Cup may force ISL to be rescheduled
The Indian Super League (ISL) organizers would be forced to reschedule the tournament in 2017. Due to India playing host to the U-17 FIFA World Cup in 2017, the ISL would have to shift its dates to accommodate the tournament.
FIFA and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) have reportedly decided on the months of September and October to organize the tournament. The ISL is generally held during those months.
The first edition of the ISL (2014) was held from 12th October to 20th December. However, this year, the organizers are planning on starting the cash-rich tournament in September, the month when the debut season was initially scheduled to start in 2014. Atletico de Kolkata emerged as the winners of the inaugural edition of the ISL.
Moreover, the 2015 edition is supposed to be a longer affair than the two months that the first season. This time around, the organizers have planned to lengthen the duration of the tournament, with the final expected to be around the same time as it did this year – late December. This decision would help teams as there will be an extended period of time between games which would result in more time for player recovery, reducing fatigue and eventually prevent injuries and increase the quality of play.
AIFF General Secretary Abhishek Das confirmed that FIFA have decided to have the U-17 World Cup after the monsoon.
He revealed, “FIFA has reserved a period for the U-17 World Cup. And the period also suits us because before that there will be the monsoon.”
The World Cup is our priority: Das
The 2015 U-17 World Cup which will be held in Chile is going to take place from October 17 to November 8 and FIFA would like to keep the dates for the next edition similar to this.
Das also confirmed that there was no chance that the dates for the U-17 World Cup would be moved with it being a worldwide tournament.
“That tournament is our priority. It is the World Cup, after all. All other domestic tournaments will be conducted after that,” admitted Das.
The AIFF has so far shortlisted Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi and Kolkata as the cities to host the U-17 World Cup in two years’ time out of which only 6 will make the cut.
ISL organizers Reliance-IMG have yet to comment on this news, while a franchise owner said the teams have not been notified about this decision by the AIFF so far.