ISL 2020-21 likely to begin in November 2020
- The ISL, which usually begins in October, is likely to begin in November 2020 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
- The final of the 2019-20 ISL was also held behind closed doors, wherein ATK triumphed over Chennaiyin FC.
The 2020-21 season of the ISL is likely to begin in November 2020, owing to the current circumstances that have been brought about by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The ISL, which usually begins around October, seems primed to follow the example of other leagues by deferring its starting date and starting a month later.
“Right now the plan is to begin ISL by November, if all goes well with the COVID-19 pandemic. A break is planned during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup. These are all preliminary plans and are subject to the situation in the country,” a source close to the AIFF said.
A few days ago, FIFA, world football’s apex governing body, announced the rescheduling of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2020. The tournament, which was originally scheduled to take place in India between 2nd and 21st November 2020, has been postponed to February and March 2021.
A potential ISL start in November would’ve meant a clash with the U-17 Women’s World Cup. But now that the Women's World Cup has been postponed, both events can be accommodated together.
The outbreak of the deadly virus has put all sporting activities on hold, not just in India but also across the globe. European leagues such as the La Liga and the Premier League have suffered, whereas the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have also been pushed back a year.
As for India, the IPL has been suspended indefinitely. On the Indian footballing front, the I-League, the I-League Second Division, the Golden Baby leagues and all other national competitions have also been put on hold.
ISL transfer window could also be pushed back
In fact, reports have been rife suggesting that the summer transfer window in India would be pushed back, with the duration of the window remaining the same.
The 2019-20 ISL campaign wasn’t majorly marred by COVID-19, although the summit clash was held behind closed doors on 14th March at Fatorda, Goa. On that day, ATK triumphed 3-1 over Chennaiyin FC to become the only ISL side to lift the trophy thrice.