As things stand, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is doing all they can do bring football back to India by preparing for the I-League qualifiers. The efforts of both the AIFF and the Indian Football Association (IFA) have been quite commendable, to say the least.
In the context of the I-League qualifiers, Sunando Dhar, the CEO of the I-League said that he expected quality football to be played in the tournament especially given the fact that the players who will be competing will have the hunger to perform after such a long time.
On paper, the I-League qualifier is essentially a tournament that will see the winner qualify for the I-League.
"This should be a very good competition - the prize for the winner is a place in the I-League. Hopefully, the football standard will be good to watch and I hope that people can watch the games. The hunger of the players will definitely be there. The best team will qualify to the I-League," Dhar said.
Owners request the start of the I-League to be deferred to last week of December
Speaking about the start of the I-League, Dhar went on to state that it would not be possible to fix a date on when the league would start. In fact, he also mentioned that meetings with club owners and management saw the deferring of the start of the league to the last week of December as opposed to the third week of November as planned.
Dhar also said that a few clubs are having issues with their pre-season training and overseas players being stuck outside the country.
"We had a meeting with the club owners a couple of days back. The situation in some parts of India is pretty grim and it is impossible for a few teams to begin their pre-season training. A few teams are facing an issue with overseas players not being able to join as well," Dhar said.
"The owners have requested to defer the start of the league by a month. This is being contemplated and we are checking with IFA and the West Bengal government. Hopefully, it will start in the last week of December," he added.