The domestic season of Indian Football starts with the Durand Cup on August 16, as East Bengal plays ATK Mohun Bagan in the opening match at the Salt Lake Stadium.
The 2022-23 domestic season will be longer than its preceding season. It begins with the Durand Cup in August. It will be followed by the Indian Super League (ISL).
Post the ISL, a Super Cup has been scheduled where 11 ISL clubs and 9 I-League clubs will play between April 1 and May 14.
A stark difference between the 2022-23 season and the preceding season is the increase in the number of competitions and the number of matches the players will be involved in, keeping AFC’s regulations in mind, which allows ISL clubs to play minimum 27 matches to gain eligibility in the AFC Champions League.
Unlike the 2021-22 season where the football calendar was very disjointed, the extended format of the 2022-23 season is being seen as a welcome change.
Durand Cup 2022
The Durand Cup 2022 edition will kick off on August 16 with defending champion FC Goa playing against Mohammedan SC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata.
Apart from the Salt Lake Stadium, the Kishore Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata, the Naihati Stadium in the North 24-Parganas district of West Bengal, the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, and the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal will also host the 131st edition of the Durand Cup.
The group stages will continue between August 16 and September 5. Dates for the knockout phases are yet to be finalised.
Indian Super League (ISL) 22-23
The ISL is supposed to return to the earlier round-robin format where teams will play home and away matches. For two seasons, because of the pandemic, the league was held inside a secure bio-bubble in Goa. The team with the most number of points will win the League Winner’s Shield.
The playoffs qualification process under the new format is supposed to undergo a change as well. As approved by the ISL technical committee, the top two teams will automatically qualify for the playoffs like usual.
There will be a knockout match played between the third-placed team and the sixth-placed team and the fourth-placed team and the fifth-placed team to determine which teams advance to the final four.
The single-leg match will be hosted at the home stadium of the higher-ranked team. The final four format does not change with games being played home and away.
Indian club participation in AFC Competitions- how will it work out?
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