The 2021-22 Hero I-League season will resume on March 3 in Kolkata after a short break to ensure the safety of all players and officials involved in the league, the Indian Football Federation said on Tuesday.
On January 3, the I-League was suspended by the AIFF after a new COVID-19 outbreak hit the participating teams inside the bio-bubble here.
The league will be played from the safety of a biobubble, starting on February 20, with players and officials required to travel with three negative RT-PCR tests before joining the bubble. In addition, all players will also be required to take a 12-lead ECG prior to arrival.
Once inside the biobubble, each individual must serve 7 days in quarantine, and three more tests will be carried out. Upon receiving three negative RT-PCR tests in quarantine, players and officials will be able to operate from within the bubble and attend training sessions, meals, team meetings and matches.
Hero @ILeagueOfficial 2021-22 to resume March 3 🗓
— I-League Hero (@ILeagueOfficial) February 1, 2022
“We had initially halted the league because we wanted to ensure the safety of the players and officials involved, and we didn’t want COVID-19 to spread,” said Sunando Dhar, CEO of AIFF Leagues.
“Now, after getting the clearance from the relevant authorities and the doctor’s clearance, we believe that with positivity rates going down, this is the best time to restart the season,” he added.
“I have been in contact with all the clubs, and they have all expressed their enthusiasm and are looking forward to the restart,” he concluded.
There will be no change to the league format, with the 13 teams to play each other once in a round robin format, in the first round. Once the first round is over, the teams will be divided into two groups: Group A will be made up of the seven best teams that will fight for the championship title, while Group B will be made up of the last six teams that will be involved in a decrease. battle. Each club will play their opponents in their respective groups once in a round robin format, in the second round.
Matches will be played at three venues: Kalyani Municipal Stadium, Naihati Stadium and Mohun Bagan Ground.