I-League 2022-2023: A Historic Season

thebeautifulgamethebeautifulgame Durgapur,India29686 Points
edited November 2022 in I league
The I-League is back, and in its full pristine glory! After two seasons of playing in a bio-bubble and in a shortened format across venues in West Bengal only, this season will see the return of the traditional home-and-away format in 13 venues across the country. The 16th edition of the I-League will feature 12 teams-- Aizawl FC, Churchill Brothers, Gokulam Kerala FC, Mohammedan Sporting, Mumbai Kenkre, NEROCA FC, Rajasthan United, RoundGlass Punjab, Real Kashmir, Sreenidi Deccan, Sudeva Delhi and TRAU FC. Indian Arrows are no longer a part of the league as they have been disbanded, while Kenkre have been granted an exemption from relegation after an appeal. The I-League will be telecast live on Eurosport and DD Sports, with live streaming available on Discovery +.

This edition of the I-League is poised to be a historic season. In keeping with the roadmap between the AIFF and the AFC, the winner of this season's I-League will be promoted to the next edition of the Indian Super League, now India's top-tier League. This is the one announcement that I-League owners had been waiting to hear for years, and it has been welcomed across all quarters. The transition of India's closed-league system to an open one will ensure that the clubs and players have all to play for. Not only will this make the League more competitive and exciting, it can herald the return of some of the heritage clubs to the national fold and augur well for the health of India's football ecosystem in the long run. The pan-Indian nature of the League is set to be enhanced further with four stadiums--the Payannad stadium in Mallapuram, the Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar, the Chhatrasal Stadium in New Delhi and the Deccan Arena in Hyderabad--set to make their debut this year. The combination of some of the traditional Indian football pockets and some lesser-known ones would mean that the I-league truly covers the length and breadth of India.

Over the past few years, the I-League has showcased some great competitiveness and quality football, with the League being decided on the very last day for the past couple of seasons. Two-time defending champion Gokulam Kerala will once again be the favourite although they will be pushed hard by teams like Mohammedan Sporting, last years runner-up and unbeaten CFL champions this year, Sreenidi Deccan who had an impressive debut season last year finishing third and perennial title-contenders Churchill Brothers who have made some excellent signings this season. Rajasthan United have followed up their impressive debut season with some excellent performances in the Durand Cup this year, RoundGlass Punjab have a good mix of Indian and foreign talent while teams like Real Kashmir, Aizawl FC, NEROCA FC  and TRAU FC would be desperate to better their performances this year.

The I-League will kick off on 12 November 2022 with a blockbuster--defending champion Gokulam Kerala locking horns against last season runner-up Mohammedan Sporting in a mouthwatering clash at 4:30 p.m at the Payannad Stadium at Manjeri. Vive la, I-League!!

This thread is to discuss all activities--pre-season matches, team news, I-League matches , post-match analysis--except those related to transfer


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