The All India Football Federation , on Friday, announced that the 2019-20 season of I-League will begin on November 30. The league was originally scheduled for kickoff on 2nd November.
It has been learnt that the officials had decided to reschedule the opening match to November 16 but reluctance from the clubs postponed the date to November 30.
AIFF League Committee meets in New Delhi
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) October 25, 2019
“Many clubs had spoken to AIFF and said that if we release the fixtures now and give them time till November 16, it will be too short to prepare for the league and make travel plans,” I-League Committee chairman Subrata Dutta was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Other than the requests from the clubs, the AIFF has not finalized a broadcast deal for the I-League and has permitted the participating teams to look out for their own broadcaster.
“We need some more time to decide on the broadcaster. We are already in the discussion with a new broadcaster and a production house. Within a few days,things should be sorted out,” Dutta added.
The I-League clubs had often accused that the earlier broadcaster treated them step-motherly. In recent times, the relationship between the I-League clubs and the AIFF has grown bitter after the governing body relegated the league to second-tier competition.
Earlier this month, the AIFF along with Asian Football Confederation (AFC), while announcing the future road map of Indian football, took away the league’s AFC Champions League qualifier spot and handed it to the Indian Super League (ISL).
The status of the top-tier league thus went to the cash-rich ISL which is underway since last Saturday with a stable broadcasting deal.
Meanwhile, the AIFF I-League committee that met in New Delhi yesterday reviewed submissions made by the state associations and approved ten clubs who would undergo Second Division club licensing process.
Bhawanipore FC, Mohammedan SC, Lonestar Kashmir, ARA FC, NGR Football Club Jammu, Kickstart FC Karnataka, FC Bengaluru United, FC Kerala, Garhwal FC and AU Rajasthan are the ten teams that were selcted after much considerations.
The committee also announced that a minimum of three players can be replaced by a club during the entire course of I-league 2019-20. It was also told that only a maximum of eight officials would be allowed to sit in the dugout during a match.