I-League is set to start in December after the tournament was initially scheduled to begin in November. The league is being held at selected venues in West Bengal rather than the usual home and away matches due to the pandemic.
The lack of pre-season had delayed the start of new season. In a meeting with I-League, the club owners raised concerns about availability of international players during the tournament due to COVID guidelines. All parties eventually decided to delay the season by a month.
As per the discussions, the tournament will start from December and conclude in March. The 11-team I-League will be played over three months.All India Football Federation (AIFF) will discuss the matter with the Bengal Football Association and the state government before making official announcement.
AIFF is also keeping an eye on the life in bio-bubble to monitor the safety and security of the players and officials. They are currently observing the bio-secure bubble that is set-up for the qualifying tournament which is set to begin on Thursday in Kolkata. This experience will help them stage a better process for I-League and ISL. Both tournaments are set to run for more than 100 days.
Youth leagues will also not happen this year as it is impossible to establish bio-secure bubbles for so many teams across the country. As per the sources, AIFF will not be able to hold Indian Women’s League in its usual January-February slot (in 2021). However, they are hoping to schedule it in May. The inaugural Futsal League is now set to take place during May and June in Shillong.