AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: The fourteenth edition of Hero I-League will kick-off on Saturday (January 9, 2021) in Kolkata. Eleven teams will need to enter the bio-secure bubble fourteen days prior to their first match according to the schedule, which will be announced shortly. The matches will be telecast live on 1Sports.
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the previous edition of Hero I-League made to halt abruptly before the football action resumed once again in India through Hero I-League Qualifier 2020 in October this year. Government of West Bengal and Indian Football Association (IFA) joined hands with All India Football Federation to organise the qualifiers successfully.
Mr. Sunando Dhar, CEO, Leagues, lauded Government of West Bengal as well as IFA for their "unconditional support" to stage the tournaments without any fuss.
"We can't thank Government of West Bengal and IFA enough for their unconditional support to hosting the Hero I-League Qualifier this year. Without their support, we couldn't even think of hosting the tournament smoothly."
"Hero I-League Qualifier was a stage rehearsal for the next edition of Hero I-League as it'll be a longer and more challenging tournament from every single aspect. We'll work with them hand in hand to make it a grand success and we're confident to pull it off successfully," he mentioned.
All eleven teams will face each other once in the first leg of the league before they are divided into two different groups. Top six teams, according to the points table, will face each other once again to decide the winner whereas the other five teams will play against each other in a one-leg league format. The team with maximum points (cumulative points collected from all fifteen matches) will be the winner of Hero I-League 2020-21.
The entire tournament will be hosted adhering to the COVID-19 SOPs released by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India and no spectator will be allowed inside a stadium during a match.