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CFL kick-off date announced, deliberations on over match timings

THE 118TH EDITION of Calcutta Football League (Premier Division A) is set to kick off on 20th July, the Indian Football Association (West Bengal) has decided.

The state league, which is one of the oldest running leagues in the world, has seven divisions, and the top tier will feature 11 clubs, including the stalwarts East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting. Other clubs like Tollygunge Agragami and Bhawanipore FC are also expected to field competitive squads in the league this season. The top tier will run its course by early September. The league will follow a single leg round robin format and the bottom 4 teams in the points table will be relegated to Premier Division B.

Promoted and televised by Star India, the CFL is likely to see most of its important games shown live on the Star Jalsha Movies channel. The matches will be held primarily in the East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting grounds, with certain matches in Barasat Stadium. The Kolkata Derby fixture between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan is being shifted to Siliguri since the Salt Lake Stadium is still undergoing renovations to prepare for the U-17 World Cup 2017.

A statement from the IFA said that deliberations are on regarding whether or not some matches will be held under floodlights. The Barasat Stadium and the Mohun Bagan ground are fitted with floodlights while East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting do not have such arrangements in their stadiums. Regardless, the final decision regarding match timings may come from Star. 

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