ISL Final 2017-18: Which city will be the ISL final venue
The host city for the 2017-18 Indian Super League (ISL) final has been announced and the footballing nerve-centre of India, Kolkata, will have the privilege of staging another big title clash after the successful hosting of the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup final.
A statement from the ISL read: "Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) today announced hosting the Hero Indian Super League 2017-18 final in Kolkata. As a result, the season-opening game which as per the earlier fixture list was to be played at Kolkata on Friday, 17th November 2017 will now move to Kochi.
"The decision has been taken post reviewing the grand success of Kolkata hosting the FIFA Under-17 World Cup final concluded recently. Hero ISL started its journey from Kolkata in October 2014 with a glamorous ceremony, the city of Kolkata for the first time will play host to the Hero ISL grand finale on Saturday, 17th March 2018."
"The reverse game between Kerala Blasters FC vs ATK earlier scheduled in Kochi will now be played in Kolkata on the same day, i.e. Friday 9th February 2018."
Earlier, the opening fixture between ATK and Kerala Blasters was slated to be played at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata but that has now been shifted to the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi. The final, on 17th March 2018, whose venue hadn't been decided until now has now been confirmed to be in Kolkata.
This is the first time Kolkata will host the ISL final after the last three seasons saw Navi Mumbai, Goa and Kochi hosting the title clash. The Salt Lake Stadium also wasn't used as ATK's home ground last season due to the renovation work for the FIFA U17 World Cup. With the World Cup now over, the new-look Salt Lake Stadium will stage a fitting finale to what promises to be the biggest and best-ever ISL season yet.