I-League 2017-18: Season's first Kolkata derby reportedly set for December kick-off
What's the story?
Amid all the confusion over the fixture list of the 2017-18 I-League season, reports have now emerged that the top division Indian football league will kick off simultaneously with the 2017-18 Indian Super League season, on November 16th or 17th, according to Times News Network. Along with that, the tentative date for the season's first Kolkata derby has been set for the first week of December.
In case you didn't know...
At the convention of all the stakeholders of the I-League yesterday at AIFF's Dwarka base that saw the participation of representatives from all I-League clubs, FSDL and Star Sports, no common consensus was reached regarding the forthcoming season's fixtures and all the parties will reconvene on Monday to find a final solution.
The heart of the matter
While the original schedule for the 2017-18 season which was handed to the clubs by the organisers was not found fit for purpose by clubs like East Bengal, Shillong Lajong and Chennai City FC, the revamped schedule might see the I-League 2017-18 kick-off taking place on the same day as the ISL 2017-18 kick-off.
The ISL kicks off on 17th November and the Times report suggest that the I-League should start around 16th or 17th November. The FIFA international transfer window runs from 6th to 14th November hence any idea of the I-League starting in the middle of that period has been met with stern opposition by a few clubs.
Should the I-League start in mid-November, the first match of the season between fierce Kolkata rivals Mohun Bagan and East Bengal is tentatively slated to be held in the first week of December, possibly on the 2nd.
The fixtures for the brand new I-League season will be released inside the next three days when the next round of talks between various stakeholders resumes.