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I-League 2021-22 expands to 13 teams ahead of kickoff from December 26

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The I-League 2021-22 season will begin with TRAU FC taking on the Indian Arrows at the Mohun Bagan Ground in Kolkata on Sunday, December 26, 2021. The game will kick off at 2 PM IST.

The matches in the I-League this season will be played across three venues – the Mohun Bagan Ground in Kolkata, the Kalyani Stadium in Kalyani, and the Naihati Stadium in Naihati.

All the teams and their staff, along with the referees, officials, and volunteers will be housed inside bio-secured bubbles in four different hotels across Kolkata.

The number of teams in the I-League has increased this season, with as many as 13 teams taking part in the league. The new entrants - Sreenidi Deccan FC, Rajasthan United FC and Kenkre FC - have made their way to the league by dint of finishing first and second in the I-League Qualifiers 2021, respectively.

“The AIFF has been a pioneer in the Indian sporting ecosystem in hosting sporting events from inside bio-bubbles, and we are happy to continue providing a safe haven for the players, referees, and everyone else involved in running the league,” said AIFF Leagues CEO Sunando Dhar.

“We also need to thank all our partners, because the logistical and financial effort to house 13 teams in a bio-bubble for an entire season would not have been possible without their help,” Dhar added.

As per the tournament format, all teams will play against each other once in a round-robin format in Phase 1, before they get split into two groups in Phase 2 of the I-league. The top seven teams will make up Group A whereas the bottom six will make up Group B.

Phase 2 will see teams in their respective groups play in a single leg round-robin format. While the teams in Group A will play to determine the champions, those in Group B will be in a relegation battle.

Featured photo: AIFF Media

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