The 2019-’20 edition of I-League will begin on November 30, the All India Football Federation announced on Friday.
The I-League was relegated to India’s second-tier competition earlier this month when AIFF, along with Asian Football Confederation, announced the roadmap for the future of Indian football that took away the league’s AFC Champions League qualifier spot. The status of India’s premier football league thus went to the ISL, which is underway around the country since last Saturday.
However, the winners of the I-League would be granted a place in the AFC Cup.
The official broadcaster for the tournament will be confirmed by next week, the release on the I-League website read. The AIFF League Committee that met in New Delhi on Friday also approved ten clubs who’ll undergo Second Division League club licensing process and take part in the next edition of the competition.
Bhawanipore FC, Mohammedan SC, Lonestar Kashmir, ARA FC, NGR Football Club Jammu, Kickstart FC Karnataka, FC Bengaluru United, FC Kerala, Garhwal FC and AU Rajasthan were the ten teams that were selected by the committee after several deliberations.
Reserve teams of Indian Super League clubs ATK, Jamshedpur FC, Bengaluru FC, Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa, Kerala Blasters FC, Mumbai City FC, Hyderabad FC, Punjab FC would also compete in the Second Division League.
The ISL is likely to open up bidding process for two new teams next season, presenting I-League clubs an opportunity to enter ISL if they manage to win the bid.
By 2025, the ISL could open its arms for two more I-League clubs through a promotion system according to the new roadmap.
In the upcoming season, Chennai City FC would be hoping to become the first team to defend the I-League crown since it began in 2007.