The I-League Qualifiers, featuring five teams seeking promotion too the second division of Indian football, will begin on October 8.
The tournament, which will kick-start the 2020-21 Indian football season, will be played at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata, and the Kalyani Municipal Stadium, in Kalyani, West Bengal.
The five teams -- ARA FC, Bhawanipore FC, Garhwal FC, FC Bengaluru United, and Mohammedan SC -- will play each other once in a round-robin format. The team that tops the table after the fifth matchday will be promoted to the upcoming I-League season.
The opening matchday will see Bhawanipore FC take on FC Bengaluru United, while Mohammedan SC will face Garhwal FC.
“The Hero I-League qualifiers are an important event as it gives a number of teams the chance to qualify for this pan-India league,” said Sunando Dhar, All India Football Federation Leagues CEO.
“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,” he added.
Due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the matches will be played behind closed doors and all players and officials involved will be kept in a bio-bubble for the duration of the tournament.
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