The Indian Super League may be held either in Goa or Kerala while Kolkata is set to host all the I-League matches with likely kick-off in November, as the All India Football Federation (AIFF) seeks to stage both the competitions in a single city in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The League Committee of the AIFF, which met virtually on Tuesday, deliberated on the likely venues and dates of the two top leagues in the country. "FSDL (ISL organisers) is in conversation with authorities in Kerala and Goa to explore possibilities of hosting ISL season in one state," a release said following the League Committee meeting chaired by AIFF senior vice-president Subrata Dutta.
League Committee meets via video conferencing 💻
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) July 21, 2020
"The Committee tentatively decided to host the 2020-21 Hero I-League at Kolkata provided the State Association obtains the necessary approval in writing from the State Government." The Committee deliberated at length on the dates for the kick-off of various youth league competitions and unanimously felt that a final decision on the venues and dates would be taken soon in accordance with government guidelines pertaining to operational and medical aspects.
Regarding the second division league, the Committee tentatively proposed a kick-off in the third week of September, taking into consideration the transfer window, which would end on October 20. A decision on this will be taken on August 14. Regarding the AIFF Academy Accreditation, the Committee decided to be lenient and go by last year's ratings given to the 84 clubs who had participated in the last edition. But with regard to the 50 new applicants, the Committee decided to have an inspection.
"This is a one-off case and from 2021-22, there would be physical inspections by the relevant authorities," the AIFF said. "In respect to the club licensing criteria, the AIFF are in talks with the Asian Football Confederation for certain exemptions to the Hero ISL and Hero I-League clubs in view of the prevalent pandemic situation." Furthermore, the planned Futsal league which was to be organised in the first-week of September may be postponed to a later date. The AIFF said it doesn't want the inaugural edition to be played behind closed doors and thus it is currently looking at a later window for the competition.