THE INDIAN FOOTBALL SEASON of 2020-21 will kick off with 2nd Division League in just a few weeks.
AIFF, who have picked Kolkata as the centralized venue for 2nd Division League and I-League this season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, are aiming to start the final round of the 2nd Division League around 15th September, and get it done by the 1st week of November. The tentative duration of the competition has been put at 15 days, which leaves a large room for error; if the situation demands the start can be delayed until early October, although that's not what the Federation is aiming for.
8 clubs from accorss the country, including Mohammedan Sporting, Bhawanipore FC, ARA FC, FC Kerala, Bengaluru United, Rajasthan FC, Garwhal FC and Lonestar Kashmir have won their way into this round from the preliminary stage. They have been split into two groups, from where the top four will progress to playoffs. The champions of the season will progress straight to the I-League 2020-21 season.
Mohammedan, ARA, Bengaluru United and Garwhal FC have been pinned as the heavyweight contenders for promotion to the I-League.
I-League, meanwhile, is expected to begin from the last week of November or the first week of December. The league season is expected to run just over three months and the AIFF is contemplating a change in the league's format to fit it within that time frame. 12 clubs are expected to take part in the I-League this season.
Indian football fans have not seen any action take place since March 14th, after which the I-League matches could not be played due to COVID-19. The long gap is finally about to end after 6 months with national football action about to get back underway.