The I-League 2023-24 season will start on Saturday, October 28, with Real Kashmir hosting Rajasthan FC at the TRC Polo Synthetic Turf Ground in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.
Organised by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the I-League is the men's second-tier of the Indian football league pyramid.
The 17th edition of the I-League will see as many as 13 clubs play a total of 156 matches on a home-and-away double round-robin format. Each team will play 24 matches each.
Aizawl FC, Churchill Brothers FC Goa, Delhi FC, Gokulam Kerala FC, Inter Kashi, Mohammedan Sporting Club, Namdhari FC, Neroca FC, Rajasthan United FC, Real Kashmir FC, Shillong Lajong FC,Sreenidi Deccan FC and Tiddim Road Athletic Union FC are the 13 clubs that will compete in I-League 2023-24.
Uttar Pradesh-based Inter Kashi and Namdhari Sports from Punjab are the two new additions to the I-League. Both the clubs have secured direct entry to the league through a bid approved by the AIFF.
Meanwhile, Delhi FC and Shillong Lajong are the two teams that have bagged promotion from the I-League 2022-23 second division.
Having won I-League 2022-23 second division, Delhi FC earned their maiden promotion to the I-League after beating Ambernath United Atlanta FC 3-1 in the final round.
On the other hand, Shillong Lajong became the first team to secure promotion to the I-League 2023-24 from the ongoing second division league season. Shillong Lajong is back in the I-League after a gap of four years.
As per the I-League 2023-24 format, the team finishing at the top of the standings after all 156 matches will emerge as I-League 2023-24 champions. They will be eligible for promotion to the Indian Super League 2024-25 provided they fulfil the Club Licensing criteria.
Defending champions Punjab FC have already been promoted to the ISL.
Every club can register five foreigners in their squads, with a maximum of three allowed on the pitch at a time for I-League 2023-24. There will no longer be any AFC player quota requirements.
Where to watch I-League 2023-24 live?
The I-League 2023-24 will be telecast live on Eurosport TV channel in India.
Live streaming of the I-League 2023-24 will be available on Indian Football’s YouTube channel.
Photo credit: Alamy