CONFIRMED: ISL 7 to start from November 2020

Less than a month from now, the country’s Premier League is set to resume with more grandeur than ever.

The official Social Media handle of the Indian Super League announced the starting date of the ISL this evening. The 11-team tournament is scheduled to start from 20th of November in Goa behind closed doors.

The pandemic raged the nation at the start of the year and sporting events were put at a grinding halt. With situations worsening and players testing positive for COVID-19, serious concerns were raised about the resumption of events this year.

However, with gradual steps being taken, I-League Qualifiers became the first sporting event to happen in India. Following that, the Hero ISL Season 7 will become the second major event to kick off in three venues at Goa. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, The Tilak Nagar Maidan in Vasco Da Gama and the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim are the selected venues where the matches will take place.

The League Committee has formed groups and allotted the stadiums to the teams based on their performance from the previous season. Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is allotted to FC Goa, ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC. GMC Athletic Stadium will be the home ground for Chennaiyin FC, Mumbai City FC, Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters. Jamshedpur FC, NorthEast United, Hyderabad FC are allotted Tilak Maidan.  SC East Bengal, who were recently included in the Super League are also expected to play their home games in Tilak Maidan, Vasco.

Each team has been provided with a separate training ground in the North and South of Goa. Most of the teams have reached Goa with their national players and many of the foreign contingent athletes. The teams are undergoing a mandatory quarantine period after arrival and the committee has procured a bio-bubble setup.

The seventh season of ISL is one of the most important seasons since its inception. The tournament was recognized as the Premier League in the past year by the Asian Football Confederation. Apart from that, the winners of the ISL Group Stage will take part in the AFC Champions League, and the play-off winners will take part in the AFC Cup play-offs. Considering the results from the last year, FC Goa will represent India in AFC Champions League and ATK Mohun Bagan in the AFC Cup play-offs.

Adding to it, the inclusion of institutional clubs like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in the league has added to the buzz and the league is set to witness a fanbase and heritage that it has been deprived of in the past six years. The League will also boast the likes of compelling international stars plying their trade in various franchises.

When the glitz and glamour of the Indian Super League get amalgamated with traditional rivalries and formulation of the newer ones, we will only witness India taking steady steps in unlocking its footballing potential.


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