I-League 2017 set to get underway on November 25
I-League, the premier football league in India, is all set to begin on the third week of November, as the league will run simultaneously alongside the cash-rich Indian Super League (ISL).
While the fixture dates for the ISL had been released long ago (the tournament is set to get underway on Friday, November 17), there has been an air of uncertainty around the fixture dates of the I-League.
However, the uncertainty around the fixture dates of the I-League is set to come to an end. The tournament is all set to get underway around the third week of this month, more specifically, on Saturday, November 25, a source within the All India Football Federation (AIFF) said to Sportskeeda, today.
“There is a high chance that the I-League will start on November 25th,” said the source. “The dates are yet to be finalized, but the league will mostly start on that day. Although there may still be a slight shift from that date, the I-League will most certainly start by the third week of November.”
There has been a lot of talk surrounding the future of the I-League over the course of the last few months, after it was announced by the AIFF that both the ISL and the I-League will run simultaneously from this season.
One of the biggest issues with this was the availability of the players (or the lack of it). Till last season, most of the players had been contracted to either an ISL or an I-League club. If a player was contracted to an ISL club, he would play for them during the cash-rich tournament, and be loaned out to an I-league club later on, and vice-versa for the players who were contracted to the I-League clubs.
However, with both the leagues running simultaneously, most of the players have now had to make their choice between the two leagues.
While I-League still remains the premier football league in the country, which has the two AFC Champions Trophy qualification and/or AFC Cup spots, it is clear that the ISL clubs stand to gain in the future, when the AIFF does decide to make it the top league.