After a few weeks of discussions and planning, the I-League is finally set to begin on the 9th of January, 2021. The choice of the date comes at the request of a few I-League clubs which wanted the start of the league to be moved from the third week of December as previously planned.
With the second division of the I-League having come to a close in the recent past, the clubs now look at the start of the upcoming season. Kolkata has been picked as the city to host the upcoming edition of the I-League with all matches being played in different venues across the city.
Sunando Dhar, the CEO of the I-League, went on to thank the government of West Bengal for helping put the league together and for ensuring that Covid protocols are adhered to.
“We can’t thank the government of West Bengal and IFA enough for their unconditional support to hosting the Hero I-League Qualifier this year. Without their support, we couldn’t even think of hosting the tournament smoothly," he said.
'Qualifier was a stage rehearsal for the I-League'
Dhar went on to state that the qualifier was a stage rehearsal for the upcoming edition of the I-League and added that the league would be longer and more challenging.
“Hero I-League Qualifier was a stage rehearsal for the next edition of Hero I-League as it’ll be a longer and more challenging tournament from every single aspect. We’ll work with them hand-in-hand to make it a grand success and we’re confident to pull it off successfully,” Dhar mentioned.
The I-League management has illustrated strict protocols to ensure that the Covid virus does not spread to either the players or the staff of any team. The protocols have gone so far as to provide separate elevators for players in addition to dining halls within hotels.