COVID-19: AIFF considering single cities for ISL, I-League venues

The All India Football Federation is considering to host the upcoming seasons of the Indian Super League (ISL) and the I-League in venues at a single place.

The AIFF League Committee at its virtual meeting on Tuesday has deliberated on the possible venues and dates  for the two top flight professional football league in the country. Kolkata has been zeroed in as the host city for the I-League. There will be a choice between coastal States Kerala and Goa for the ISL.

“FSDL (ISL organising body) is in conversation with authorities in Kerala and Goa to explore possibilities of hosting ISL season in one (of the) State(s),” AIFF senior vice-president Subrata Dutta has stated in a press release.

“The Committee (has) tentatively decided to host the 2020-21 Hero I-League at Kolkata provided the State Association obtains the necessary approval in writing from the State Government.”

The Committee after deliberating on the dates and venues for the other leagues has deferred any final decision. Guidelines from various State and Central Government on COVID-19 SOPs will be taken into consideration for the final decision, national news agency PTI has reported.

Regarding the second division league, the Committee tentatively proposed a kick-off in the third week of September, taking into consideration the transfer window, which would end on October 20. A decision on this will be taken on August 14.

Regarding the AIFF Academy Accreditation, the Committee decided to be lenient and go by last year’s ratings given to the 84 clubs who had participated in the last edition.

But with regard to the 50 new applicants, the Committee decided to have an inspection.

“This is a one-off case and from 2021-22, there would be physical inspections by the relevant authorities,” the AIFF said.

“In respect to the club licensing criteria, the AIFF are in talks with the Asian Football Confederation for certain exemptions to the Hero ISL and Hero I-League clubs in view of the prevalent pandemic situation.”

Furthermore, the planned Futsal league which was to be organised in the first-week of September may be postponed to a later date.

The AIFF said it doesn’t want the inaugural edition to be played behind closed doors and thus it is currently looking at a later window for the competition.

Admin Sportz Front

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