All matches of this season’s I-League and second divison league qualifiers will be held in Kolkata with strict health and safety measures in place to cope with the COVID-19 risk, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) stated on Friday.
The choice was taken in a digital assembly of the League Committee chaired by AIFF senior vice-president Subrata Dutta.
The I-League, the nation’s second tier membership competitors, is probably going to kick off in November whereas the second diviison qualifiers is tentatively scheduled for the third week of subsequent month. But the schedule of each the leagues is topic to authorities clearance.
“Keeping in mind available infrastructure and …granting requisite permissions to organise 2nd division qualifiers and subsequently I-League 2020-21 including arranging for practice sessions for participating clubs, the Committee unanimously decided to grant hosting rights of 2nd division qualifiers and I-League to IFA, Kolkata,” the AIFF stated in a launch.
“The Hero 2nd division qualifiers will also serve as a dress rehearsal for the Hero I-League and enable all involved stakeholders to understand the COVID bubble and operate likewise for a seamless operation,” it added.
The AIFF stated the schedule and date for the second division qualifiers and the I-League, nevertheless, would be finalised as soon as the rules from the central authorities are issued.
Dutta stated that the AIFF will straight be chargeable for the safety of the gamers and officers.
“The League division has already ready the SOP which is to be strictly adopted. The onus this yr will not be on the golf equipment however on the AIFF and the involved state associations since we’ve already determined that the Leagues would be held in one venue.
“We want to adhere to all of the safety protocols to be certain that not a single participant or official will get contaminated.
“We should be certain that we adhere to the requirements to stay up to the expectations of the soccer lovers in the nation. The Leagues want to be organised in a way which can set an instance for others to comply with,” he stated.
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das advised the shortening of the period of the I-League in view of the pandemic.
“Let it be completely clear that the safety of gamers can’t be compromised with at any value. It would be tough to settle for any COVID associated infections on the gamers and officers,” he stated.
“There have been situations of world leagues condensing their format. We want to relook on the period of Hero I-League and Hero ISL to guarantee absolutely the safety of gamers.
“Organising the league in one single venue under present circumstances will not be straightforward. We want to assume rationally.”
Regarding the AIFF Academy Accreditation, the Committee granted an extension until September 30 for submission of all related paperwork in view of the present state of affairs.