Indian Football News: I-League 2019-20 to kick-off on November 30
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced on Saturday that the I-League will kick-off on November 30. The broadcasters are expected to be announced in a week's time and Discovery Sport are the front-runners.
Aizawl FC have been rumoured to wind up its first team operations or focus only on the Mizoram Premier League. Indian Arrows are also supposed to play in the I-League 2nd Division. With two possible withdrawals from the league, it is expected that Shillong Lajong will get back to the top division of the I-League pyramid in order to make the count to 10 teams.
Gokulam Kerala have been in fantastic form in the season so far. They won the Durand Cup in Kolkata after getting the better of the two Kolkata Giants at their home venues. The Malabarians have also qualified for the semi-final of the ongoing Sheikh Kamal Club Cup in Bangladesh.
Chennai City finished third in their group in the Durand Cup and failed to qualify for the semi-final in the Sheikh Kamal Club Cup in Bangladesh. Though not a good start, with the complete team, the defending champions are expected to do well.
Real Kashmir were eliminated in the Durand Cup after a semi-final defeat to Mohun Bagan after 120 minutes of play. They have been playing pre-season friendlies with some ISL and state league teams ever since.
East Bengal and Mohun Bagan finished second and third respectively in the Calcutta Football League which was eventually won by Peerless SC. East Bengal decided to not participate in the Sheikh Kamal Club Cup and have been training in Kolkata. On the contrary, Mohun Bagan did travel to play the tournament and have made it to the semi-final as well.
Clubs such as Minerva Punjab, Aizawl FC, Churchill Brothers, TRAU and NEROCA are plying their trade in their respective state leagues. Minerva Punjab have won heir maiden Punjab Football League title.
The new edition will see a change in the policy of replacement of foreigners. Only three foreigners can be replaced by each club in the league. The federation also communicated that only eight officials will be allowed in the technical area of the matches. The U-22 rule is yet to be ascertained and will be announced subject to a meeting between the clubs and the federation in a few weeks.