FIXTURE LIST of the first few matchweeks in the I-League 2015-16 season have been released, about four weeks before the country's top divison football league kicks off.
Most of the matches will be held over the weekends; except the fourth week of January which has some public holidays that clubs can take advantage of.
The league begins on 9th January with a special match. New entrants Aizawl FC, the first ever club from Mizoram to make it to the country's highest league, will begin their journey with a match against defending champions Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata.
The iconic arena in Kolkata was rumoured to be closed off for I-League this season in order to carry out renovations in preparation for hosting the U-17 World Cup 2017, has thankfully been made available to host matches till the end of January. This means Mohun Bagan and East Bengal will get to play their first few home games in the 120,000 capacity stadium; including the first Kolkata Derby of the I-League season, to be held on Saturday, 23rd January. Mohun Bagan will also play their AFC Champions League qualifier match against Tampine Rovers at the same ground.
Subsequent matches of the Kolkata clubs are expected to be held at the Barasat Stadium and other arenas across the city. The return leg of the Kolkata Derby, scheduled for April 2nd, will be held at the Kanchanjungha Stadium in Siliguri.
New entrants Aizawl FC will play their historic first ever top division home match on 16th January, against current Federation Cup holders Bengaluru FC at the Lammual Stadium.
Salgaocar FC, meanwhile, have decided to play most of their home matches in their old fortress Tilak Maidan. Sporting Clube de Goa will continue using the Fatorda Stadium, starting 10th January with a match against East Bengal.
The two Maharashtra clubs, Mumbai FC and DSK Shivajians, will use the Cooperage Stadium (Mumbai) and the Balewadi Sports Complex (Pune) as their home grounds.