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I-League Second Division ready to Kick-off: Will there be another Neroca FC in the making?

I-League Second Division ready to Kick-off: Will there be another Neroca FC in the making?

Press Releases

Published: 13 March 2018 10:40 AM GMT
The I-league is done and dusted with and let's just say it has never been this dramatic before, with four teams eyeing the trophy till the very last minute. However, the second division I-league is all set to take off tomorrow with much more gusto than has previously been known. Tomorrow, Kolkata's old horse Mohammedan SC will begin their campaign against Jamshedpur FC Reserves in Kolkata at the Barasat Stadium. This will be followed by Langsning FC playing Chennaiyin FC Reserves in the second match. This year, the number of teams competing for the title are pleasantly higher than last years, seeing a rise from 12 teams to 18. This edition of the second division I-league will see a number of new participants, such as TRAU FC from Imphal, Manipur FC Kerala from Thrissur, Kerala and Madhya Bharat FC from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The teams will play two matches against each other, following the one home and on away procedure, in the preliminary stages. During this stage they will be divided into three groups of six. The top two from each group will the proceed to play for the 6 team Final Phase. The winner among these teams, in the Final Phase will get promoted to the first division of the I-league. Although the top two sides from the preliminary phase are slated to qualify for the Final Phase, the ISL Reserve sides will not qualify for the Final even if they finish within the top two spots and their place will go to the next best non-ISL team. The lack of interest in a second division league is understandable but this would be a good time to remind Indian football fans that last year the champion of the league was Neroca FC. In this year's I-League Neroca FC were among the most fierce contendrs to the throne, finishing only second in the standings. Among the new criteria that have been introduced is that this will be the first time that ISL teams will send their Reserve sides to compete in the tournament. The condition is that their teams will only comprise of Indian players. Another added feature is that apart from 3 players the teams can have only U-23 players in their squad.
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