I-League: Chennai City, Minerva Punjab get AIFF nod

The I-League is slated to commence on January 7, 2017.

Chennai City FC was the CFA Champions in the first division.   -  Special arrangement

The AIFF Bid Evaluation Committee on Sunday awarded Chennai City FC and Minerva Punjab FC the right to field their teams in the I-league 2016-2017 season. The committee evaluated the five bids submitted after the retendering was initiated on November 25.

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The five clubs — Neroca FC, Minerva Punjab FC, Sudeva FC, FC Bardez Goa and Chennai City FC — submitted their bids and based on the evaluation of their proposals, the committee decided to award Chennai City FC and Minerva Punjab FC the right to field their teams in the league, which is slated to commence on January 7, 2017.

“I, on the behalf of AIFF, welcome Chennai City FC and Minerva Punjab FC to the I-League family and we all hope that we will have a competitive I-League,” AIFF secretary Kushal Das stated.

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Minerva Punjab FC has already plied its trade in the Second Division League 2015-16 having secured the second position. “With Chennai City FC and Minerva Punjab FC joining the fray now, we have ten teams competing in the next I-League. Now, we have representatives from Chennai and Punjab, which means we’ll reach out to more supporters and newer markets,” Das said.

I-League CEO Sunando Dhar also sounded happy with the clubs’ inclusion. “New teams from two new venues will add a newer dimension to I-League and they will get a chance to rub shoulders with the top clubs of Indian football”, Mr. Dhar commented.

Venues:

Minerva FC will play its home matches in Guru Nanak stadium, Ludhiana.

Capacity - 22000 (Source: AIFF Gen sec Kushal Das)

Chennai City FC will play in Jawaharlal Nehru stadium.

Capacity - 40,000. Average ISL attendance - 22,139

Only Chennai City FC and Minerva satisfied the bidding criteria set by AIFF and I-League. The others, including Barthez Goa, could not meet the financial criteria.

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