I-League Qualifier 2020 to kick off on October 8 in West Bengal
The final round of the I-League second division 2019-20, which has been rebranded and restructured as I-League qualifiers 2020 due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, will kick-off on October 8, 2020, in West Bengal.
A total of five clubs will battle it out for a single qualification spot in the upcoming I-League season at the qualifiers which will take place at two venues - Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata, and the Kalyani Municipal Stadium, in Kalyani. All teams except for ARA will reach Kolkata on September 25. ARA will reach the destination three days later. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will take care of the teams' lodging and transportation.
The Second Division League had come to a halt after a nationwide lockdown was imposed in March due to the pandemic. The group stages of the Second Division League were stopped before completion and the top six teams were selected for the final round from the group tables. Unfortunately, FC Kerala decided to withdraw from the competition.
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Mohammedan Sporting, Bhowanipore FC (both from Kolkata), ARA FC (Gujarat), Garhwal FC (Delhi) and FC Bengaluru United (Karnataka) will battle it out for a spot in the 2020-21 season of I-League. The matches will be played in a round-robin format and the team that tops the table will qualify.
“The I-League qualifiers are an important event as it gives a number of teams the chance to qualify for this pan-India league,” said AIFF Leagues CEO Sunando Dhar.
“It is unfortunate that these teams missed out on the opportunity to gain promotion last season due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued. “That is why this is a unique opportunity for them to make it to the Hero I-League this season. Wishing them all the very best in their endeavours.”