The next season of the I-League will again be held in its entirety in Kolkata, according to the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
Gokulam Kerala won their maiden league title in the 2020-21 I-League season which was held between February-April.
Sunando Dhar informed the AIFF League Committee that 13 teams would play the I-League this season as compared to 12 from last season. “We are looking at a tentative date of mid-December onwards for kicking off the I-League. We are in talks with the Indian Football Association (Bengal), and also the Government of West Bengal to successfully organise the League in Kolkata and its suburbs like the last edition,” Dhar said.
“The format of the League will be the same as the last edition with all teams playing each other once, and then divided into two groups. While the top half vying for the Championship will comprise 7 teams, the bottom half which will be battling it out for the relegation will have 6 teams,” he added. “The number of matches will also be more this edition – a rise from 80 to 114.”
The Committee considering the possibility of a third wave regarded that the best option was before them, and approved the venue and the format.
The Committee also decided after lengthy deliberation that the relegation rule will be applied to the I-League 2021-22 irrespective of the current situation, and the regulation won’t be changed once the League kicks off.
The I-League Qualifiers are proposed to be held at a single venue in Bengaluru in September with a maximum of 10 teams participating in these qualifiers.