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Rediff.com  » Sports » I-League to start in late November

I-League to start in late November

August 05, 2010 09:50 IST

An All India Football Federation team to be based in the Capital will be among 14 clubs that will take part in the I-League starting in November.

The decision to this effect was taken at an I-League Committee meeting on Wednesday, after considering the various factors like the Asian Games, availability of venues and national team commitments.

The AIFF XI, to be coached by former Tottenham Hotspur junior team coach Desmond Bulpin, will replace disbanded Mahindra United in the 14-team league in the coming season.

"Asian Games (November 12-27) is the main issue as the players will not be available for that. Then some venues will not be available for I-League matches besides the national team will play international friendlies in September-October," AIFF Secretary General Alberto Colaco said.

"So, the I-League will start in the third week of November," he said.

Asked about the AIFF XI, he said, "The team will play all their I-League matches in Delhi whenever Ambedkar Stadium is available."

The meeting, attended by representatives of the clubs, decided that the league will have 14 teams as last year, thereby ending hopes of Shillong Lajong and Sporting Clube de Goa who were hoping to play if the number of teams are increased to 16.

All the A-class tournaments like Durand Cup, Federation Cup and IFA Shield will have to be over before November.

The AIFF also told the clubs that they would have to comply with AFC licensing criteria by the end of this year failing which they would not be allowed to take part in the next season.

An AFC inspection team will be in India from late October to early November. The team will make a final inspection visit in either January or February next year.

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