Football fans can breathe a sigh of relief as Indian football returns to normalcy next season with a nine-month calendar. The scheduling will include two cup competitions and a long Indian Super League.
According to the Times of India, the organizers of the Indian Super League (ISL) have informed the CEO of the club that the football calendar will be extended from next season to include the Durand Cup (pre-season) and Super Cup (post season). ). In addition, ISL will feature more weekly-focused matches to increase the number and attendance of spectators.
The last edition of the ISL began on November 19 and ended on March 20. The Indian footballers had an unusually long off-season as the I-Leg also ended quickly.
“The ISL will consist of 11 teams and 20 league games. In addition, there will be at least four games in the Durand Cup and four more in the Super Cup, “TOI quoted an official as saying.
In a presentation to the CEO of the ISL club, the league stated that “the football calendar is being moved from a shorter event to a more general calendar to bring it in line with football leagues around the world.”
Notably, the Durand Cup and Super Cup competitions have been approved by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The AFC has determined that the two tournaments adhere to their entry manual guidelines which make it mandatory for the club to play at least 27 matches in eight months.
The season is expected to begin on August 13 with the Durand Cup. The Durand Cup will have 20 teams – 11 ISLs, five I-Leagues and four Indian Armed Forces. The teams will be divided into four groups. Following the conclusion of the Durand Cup on September 24, the teams will begin preparations for the ISL, which will be played between October 6 and March 18.
The Super Cup is scheduled as a post-season tournament and will be played between 1 April and 14 May. The I-League schedule has not yet been announced, but it is expected to run from October to March.