The Indian football season is set to kick off with the I-League Qualifiers 2021, which will take place at the Bangalore Football Stadium in Bengaluru in October. A total of 10 teams will represent as many states in the Qualifiers from within a centrally-organised bio-bubble in Bengaluru.
This edition of the I-League Qualifiers will also see as many as seven teams make their debut –Hyderya Sports FC (J&K), Corbett FC (Uttarakhand), Delhi FC (Delhi), Madan Maharaj FC (Madhya Pradesh), Rajasthan United FC (Rajasthan), Kerala United FC (Kerala), Ryntih SC (Meghalaya). The likes of ARA FC (Gujarat), Kenkre FC (Maharashtra), and FC Bengaluru United (Karnataka), who have played in the competition before, complete the line-up.
All 10 clubs have all gone through the process of nomination by their respective state football associations, and have successfully submitted the required documents for the league and club licensing on time.
“It’s great to kick-off the Indian Football domestic season once again with the Hero I-League Qualifiers. What makes the tournament all the more special this season is that we will have double the number of teams that played in the competition last year, and seven of the 10 teams are debutants,” said AIFF Leagues CEO Sunando Dhar.
“All the teams will be hosted in a central Bio Bubble, and that goes a long way in affirming that we are all firmly committed to taking Indian Football forward together. I wish the participating teams all the best,” he further said.
The 10 participating teams will be split into two groups of five teams each. The ‘group stage’ will be conducted in a round-robin format, with every team playing their rival clubs within their respective group once. The top two teams from each group will proceed to the ‘final round’, which will be played in another round-robin format with each of the four teams playing against each other once.
The team that finishes at the top of the pile in the ‘final round’, will earn promotion to the I-League 2021/22 season by virtue of winning the I-League Qualifiers 2021.
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