Hero I-League 2015/16 launched in Kolkata
Kolkata, 6 January 2016: The highly-awaited Hero I-League season 2015/16 was officially launched today in Kolkata in the presence of players from all nine competing clubs, along with Mr.Kushal Das, General Secretary, All India Football Federation (AIFF) and representatives from Hero Motocorp.
This season will have two debutants in the I-League – DSK Shivajians FC and Aizawl FC. With the addition of these two clubs, the battle for the ultimate glory in Indian Football will be fought between nine clubs. The Hero I-League 2015/16 kicks off on the back of some solid showing by the Indian players in the recently concluded SAFF Championship 2015-16 and the Hero Indian Super League 2015.
The first match of the Hero I-League 2015-16 season will see defending champions MohunBagan take on Aizawl FC in Kolkata on 9 January 2016.
Touting this Hero I-League season as the most competitive and promising Mr.Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF said,“We’ve witnessed an enthralling Hero I-League last season which kept us captivated till the final whistle on 31st May, 2015.
“Definitely, the teams will try to push their limits this season too and strive hard to win the silverware. Champions Mohun Bagan can’t show any signs of complacency as all eight teams will play out of their skins to dethrone them.”
Mr. PawalMunjal, Chairman, MD & CEO, Hero MotoCorp Ltd., said: “This will be the second year of our association with the I-League and after the exemplary show last season, we are all eagerly looking forward to the upcoming season which kicks off in three days. Over the years, we have continued to support various sporting events in the country and it gives us immense pleasure to be associated with both the Hero ISL as well as the Hero I-League.
“Football is fast emerging as one of the most popular sports among youngsters in the country and we are indeed happy to support the game. After the grand conclusion of the Hero ISL season 2, it is now time for Hero I-League to take centre stage.”
Over the next five months, fans will get to witness 72 high-octane matches across six cities in the country. Traditional rivals Mohan Bagan and East Bengal will lock horns on 23 January 2016 amidst the ever-so-passionate Kolkata fans. The return leg between these two Indian Football power houses will be played on 2 April 2016.
“Hero I-League 2014/15 is history now, everyone will be on equal footing on 9th January when the new season of the league kicks off”, Mohun Bagan skipper Shilton Paul pointed out. “We’ve got to be on our toes right from the start to win the league again, there’s absolutely no other choice,” the goalkeeper added.
The Hero I-League 2015/16 champions will receive a whopping prize amount of INR One crore compared to the previous season champions pocketing INR 70 lakhs. The teams finishing second and third will win INR 60 lakhs and INR 40 lakhs respectively. Additionally, winners of every game will win INR 50,000. If this was not enough, travel subsidy has been raised to INR 45 lakhs with the match day subsidy hiked to INR One lakh.
The Hero I-League 2015-16 will be telecast live across the Ten Sports network.