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PLS kick-off to be further delayed

The inaugural season of the Premier League Soccer in West Bengal is set for its third postponement with the organising Indian Football Association (West Bengal) and the Celebrity Management Group facing problems with the Government of West Bengal regar...

The inaugural season of the Premier League Soccer in West Bengal is set for its third postponement with the organising Indian Football Association (West Bengal) and the Celebrity Management Group facing problems with the Government of West Bengal regarding the six venues as they cannot get hold of these and they also cannot carry out necessary up-gradation work to make the stadia ready for the PLS to start.

The original plan had been to start the PLS, the IPL-style football league, in the last week of February, then the third week of March had been envisaged for the start of the new franchise-based league, but then it got further pushed back to April. Now even the start next month has been ruled out by the IFA and CMG as fundamental issues still remain to be cleared.

The organisers have not given a new kick-off date for the PLS, but it is clear that it will now start in the second half of the year. Surely it will not happen in May, June or July due to the summer heat. The earliest start as per statements from the organisers could be late-August once the next international transfer period is ongoing.

But as I stated in the The Hindu – Business Line on Thursday, I personally feel that the PLS can most likely not start before November then in August/September the rainy season is active across Bengal and then comes the festive season with Durga Puja, Kali Puja and Diwali.

How this delay will effect the PLS, the franchises and their foreign players will have to be seen. Maybe a new auction of foreign players and coaches would have to be carried out if those auctioned in January pull out, but first the PLS needs to find suitable dates and freeze those. Otherwise the reputation of the league will go down the drains and the hype around it will be die down with no ball kicked.

Published with permission from Arunava Chaudhuri.

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