I-League: Remaining matches to be held behind closed doors
- The last ever I-League Kolkata derby, scheduled for this Sunday at the Salt Lake Stadium, will be played in front of an empty stadium.
Adhering to the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to stem the outbreak of COVID-19, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided to complete the remaining matches of the 2019-20 edition of the Hero I-League behind closed doors.
That means that the last ever I-League Kolkata derby between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, scheduled for this Sunday at the Salt Lake Stadium, will take place in front of an empty stadium.
"Besides team officials and players; match officials (referees), medical staff, TV Crew, accredited media, and required security staff -- none would be allowed to be in the premises of the stadium on match day, and during official practice the preceding day," the AIFF statement said.
Even as Mohun Bagan have already wrapped up the title to become champions in their last season in the I-League before their merger with ATK to join the ISL, there are 24 games left to be played to complete the I-League season.
NEROCA and Aizawl FC are locked in a tussle to avoid relegation, while the race for second place is heating up between East Bengal, Punjab FC, Real Kashmir and Gokulam Kerala FC.
The second place could be important in the final standings, with next season's AFC competitions in mind.
If ATK win the ISL, the runners-up of the I-League will play in the AFC Cup next season.
The circular was issued to all National Sports Federations by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, to ensure strict adherence to all guidelines amidst the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19.Published 13 Mar 2020, 18:09 IST