I-League 2017-18 FIXTURES: 2 pm kick-offs, weekday matches mar the top division league

FINALLY, AT LONG, LONG LAST, the fixtures for I-League 2017-18 are out. The top flight league, with ten clubs vying to become the Champions of India, will kick off on Saturday 25th November.

The fixtures, after multiple delays, have come out 11 days before the league kicks off. Last season, they came out 12 days ahead.

The fixtures confirm a few obvious things: DSK Shivajians are obviously out of the picture, corporate entrants Gokulam group are going to call their club Gokulam Kerala FC and the Indian Arrows will fill the 10th spot in the league (although their home match dates and venue are still not finalized).

The fixture list also confirms that the I-League will be cowtowing to the ISL schedule. Many of the matches are scheduled to kick off at 2 pm, which would be fine for matches held in Aizawl and Imphal due to the stadiums there not having floodlights. But 2 pm matches (some of them on weekdays) are also to be held in other places that are perfectly capable of hosting games in the evening. This move will make sure less people show up at the games and limited viewership on TV so that ISL gets all the attention.

There are some matches at 8 pm, but only on Mondays and Tuesdays when there is no ISL match happening. The most common time slot given to I-League matches is on weekdays at 5:30 pm.

This is a direct result of I-League broadcasting rights going to Star Sports, who co-own and showcase the ISL. The network has run ads promoting the ISL for weeks now, but is yet to show a single ad acknowledging that the top flight I-League will air on the network.

There is no confirmation yet on which channels will show Star Sports, but it's likely that they will be on Star Sports 2 and sometimes move to the free-to-air Star Sports First, a channel which is not available on most cable and DTH platforms.

The league will have 90 matches in total, but it remains to be seen how many of them will get televised at all. It appears that the AIFF, their commercial partners IMG-Reliance and broadcasters Star Sports are all paying lip service to the I-League before it gets scrapped altogether as domestic leagues in India are restructured in the near future.

Here is the full fixture list, to the extent of information issued by the AIFF...

25-Nov-17    Sat    14:00    Minerva Punjab FC    Mohun Bagan    Ludhiana
27-Nov-17    Mon    17:30    Shillong Lajong FC    Gokulam Kerala FC    Shillong
28-Nov-17    Tue    20:00    Kingfisher East Bengal    Aizawl FC    Kolkata
TBD    TBD    TBD    Indian Arrows    Chennai City FC    TBD
1-Dec-17    Fri    17:30    Minerva Punjab FC    Neroca FC    Ludhiana
3-Dec-17    Sun    14:00    Mohun Bagan    Kingfisher East Bengal    Kolkata
4-Dec-17    Mon    14:00    Shillong Lajong FC    Churchill Brothers    Shillong
TBD    TBD    TBD    Indian Arrows    Minerva Punjab FC    TBD
6-Dec-17    Wed    14:00    Gokulam Kerala FC    Chennai City FC    Kozhikode
9-Dec-17    Sat    14:00    Gokulam Kerala FC    Neroca FC    Kozhikode
9-Dec-17    Sat    17:30    Kingfisher East Bengal    Shillong Lajong FC    Kolkata
10-Dec-17    Sun    14:00    Mohun Bagan    Churchill Brothers    Kolkata
11-Dec-17    Mon    20:00    Minerva Punjab FC    Chennai City FC    Ludhiana
13-Dec-17    Wed    14:00    Aizawl FC    Churchill Brothers    Aizawl
14-Dec-17    Thu    17:30    Mohun Bagan    Shillong Lajong FC    Kolkata
15-Dec-17    Fri    14:00    Neroca FC    Chennai City FC    Imphal
16-Dec-17    Sat    17:30    Kingfisher East Bengal    Churchill Brothers    Kolkata
18-Dec-17    Mon    14:00    Aizawl FC    Shillong Lajong FC    Aizawl
18-Dec-17    Mon    20:00    Minerva Punjab FC    Indian Arrows    Ludhiana
19-Dec-17    Tue    14:00    Mohun Bagan    Neroca FC    Kolkata
19-Dec-17    Tue    20:00    Churchill Brothers    Chennai City FC    Goa
22-Dec-17    Fri    14:00    Indian Arrows    Gokulam Kerala FC    Delhi
22-Dec-17    Fri    17:30    Shillong Lajong FC    Neroca FC    Shillong
23-Dec-17    Sat    14:00    Chennai City FC    Kingfisher East Bengal    Coimbatore
26-Dec-17    Tue    17:30    Indian Arrows    Shillong Lajong FC    Delhi
26-Dec-17    Tue    20:00    Churchill Brothers    Mohun Bagan    Goa
27-Dec-17    Wed    14:00    Aizawl FC    Minerva Punjab FC    Aizawl
27-Dec-17    Wed    20:00    Kingfisher East Bengal    Gokulam Kerala FC    Kolkata
29-Dec-17    Fri    17:30    Mohun Bagan    Indian Arrows    Kolkata
30-Dec-17    Sat    14:00    Neroca FC    Kingfisher East Bengal    Imphal
30-Dec-17    Sat    17:30    Churchill Brothers    Minerva Punjab FC    Goa
31-Dec-17    Sun    14:00    Gokulam Kerala FC    Aizawl FC    Kozhikode
2-Jan-18    Tue    20:00    Mohun Bagan    Chennai City FC    Kolkata
2-Jan-18    Tue    14:00    Indian Arrows    Kingfisher East Bengal    Delhi
5-Jan-18    Fri    14:00    Neroca FC    Indian Arrows    Imphal
5-Jan-18    Fri    17:30    Shillong Lajong FC    Chennai City FC    Shillong
6-Jan-18    Sat    14:00    Churchill Brothers    Kingfisher East Bengal    Goa
6-Jan-18    Sat    17:30    Gokulam Kerala FC    Minerva Punjab FC    Kozhikode
7-Jan-18    Sun    14:00    Mohun Bagan    Aizawl FC    Kolkata
8-Jan-18    Mon    20:00    Shillong Lajong FC    Indian Arrows    Shillong
9-Jan-18    Tue    20:00    Chennai City FC    Neroca FC    Coimbatore
10-Jan-18    Wed    17:30    Mohun Bagan    Minerva Punjab FC    Kolkata
12-Jan-18    Fri    17:30    Gokulam Kerala FC    Indian Arrows    Kozhikode
13-Jan-18    Sat    14:00    Aizawl FC    Chennai City FC    Aizawl
13-Jan-18    Sat    17:30    Kingfisher East Bengal    Mohun Bagan    Kolkata
14-Jan-18    Sun    14:00    Shillong Lajong FC    Minerva Punjab FC    Shillong
15-Jan-18    Mon    20:00    Gokulam Kerala FC    Churchill Brothers    Kozhikode
16-Jan-18    Tue    20:00    Indian Arrows    Neroca FC    Delhi
19-Jan-18    Fri    17:30    Churchill Brothers    Shillong Lajong FC    Goa
20-Jan-18    Sat    14:00    Aizawl FC    Neroca FC    Aizawl
20-Jan-18    Sat    17:30    Gokulam Kerala FC    Mohun Bagan    Kozhikode
21-Jan-18    Sun    14:00    Kingfisher East Bengal    Minerva Punjab FC    Kolkata
22-Jan-18    Mon    20:00    Churchill Brothers    Indian Arrows    Goa
23-Jan-18    Tue    14:00    Neroca FC    Shillong Lajong FC    Imphal
25-Jan-18    Thu    14:00    Aizawl FC    Mohun Bagan    Aizawl
27-Jan-18    Sat    14:00    Neroca FC    Minerva Punjab FC    Imphal
27-Jan-18    Sat    17:30    Chennai City FC    Indian Arrows    Coimbatore
28-Jan-18    Sun    14:00    Gokulam Kerala FC    Shillong Lajong FC    Kozhikode
29-Jan-18    Mon    14:00    Aizawl FC    Kingfisher East Bengal    Aizawl
30-Jan-18    Tue    14:00    Churchill Brothers    Neroca FC    Goa
3-Feb-18    Sat    14:00    Chennai City FC    Aizawl FC    Coimbatore
3-Feb-18    Sat    17:30    Shillong Lajong FC    Mohun Bagan    Shillong
4-Feb-18    Sun    14:00    Neroca FC    Gokulam Kerala FC    Imphal
5-Feb-18    Mon    20:00    Kingfisher East Bengal    Indian Arrows    Kolkata
6-Feb-18    Tue    17:30    Churchill Brothers    Aizawl FC    Goa
6-Feb-18    Tue    20:00    Chennai City FC    Mohun Bagan    Coimbatore
10-Feb-18    Sat    14:00    Neroca FC    Aizawl FC    Imphal
10-Feb-18    Sat    17:30    Indian Arrows    Churchill Brothers    Delhi
11-Feb-18    Sun    14:00    Chennai City FC    Shillong Lajong FC    Coimbatore
12-Feb-18    Mon    20:00    Mohun Bagan    Gokulam Kerala FC    Kolkata
13-Feb-18    Tue    20:00    Minerva Punjab FC    Kingfisher East Bengal    Ludhiana
14-Feb-18    Wed    14:00    Neroca FC    Churchill Brothers    Imphal
16-Feb-18    Fri    17:30    Indian Arrows    Aizawl FC    Delhi
17-Feb-18    Sat    14:00    Gokulam Kerala FC    Kingfisher East Bengal    Kozhikode
17-Feb-18    Sat    17:30    Chennai City FC    Churchill Brothers    Coimbatore
18-Feb-18    Sun    14:00    Neroca FC    Mohun Bagan    Imphal
19-Feb-18    Mon    20:00    Shillong Lajong FC    Aizawl FC    Shillong
20-Feb-18    Tue    20:00    Minerva Punjab FC    Gokulam Kerala FC    Ludhiana
23-Feb-18    Fri    14:00    Aizawl FC    Indian Arrows    Aizawl
23-Feb-18    Fri    17:30    Minerva Punjab FC    Shillong Lajong FC    Ludhiana
24-Feb-18    Sat    17:30    Kingfisher East Bengal    Chennai City FC    Kolkata
25-Feb-18    Sun    14:00    Churchill Brothers    Gokulam Kerala FC    Goa
26-Feb-18    Mon    20:00    Minerva Punjab FC    Aizawl FC    Ludhiana
27-Feb-18    Tue    20:00    Kingfisher East Bengal    Neroca FC    Kolkata
TBD    Fri    17:30    Chennai City FC    Minerva Punjab FC    Coimbatore
TBD    Fri    14:00    Aizawl FC    Gokulam Kerala FC    Aizawl
TBD    Sat    17:30    Indian Arrows    Mohun Bagan    Delhi
TBD    Sun    14:00    Shillong Lajong FC    Kingfisher East Bengal    Shillong
TBD    Mon    20:00    Chennai City FC    Gokulam Kerala FC    Coimbatore
TBD    Tue    20:00    Minerva Punjab FC    Churchill Brothers    Ludhiana

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