The 13th edition of the I-League was officially launched at a glittering ceremony in the national capital New Delhi today, November 21.
The League will kick off on November 30 with former champions Mohun Bagan and Aizawl FC locking horns at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl, Mizoram.
The league will feature 11 teams this season, with the induction of TRAU FC, winners of the Second division League last season.
In a first, fans from across the country, this season will witness two local derbies – the legendary Kolkata derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, and the new Imphal derby featuring NEROCA FC and TRAU FC.
The I–League has witnessed many a fairy-tale in recent years with underdogs such as Aizawl FC, Minerva Punjab FC (now Punjab FC) and Chennai City FC winning the previous three editions. The 12th edition debutants Real Kashmir FC also created a flutter and were the title contenders at one-point.
The 13th edition of the Hero I-League 2019-20 will be broadcast live exclusively on DSPORT!
The prize money for the top four teams will be as follows:
Winners – Rs. 10 million (1 Crore)
Runners up – Rs. 6 million (60 Lakh)
Third Place – Rs. 4 million (40 Lakh)
Fourth Place – Rs. 2,5 million (25 Lakh)
AIFF president Praful Patel in his statement said, “We are very happy to welcome TRAU FC to the 13th edition of the I-League. The pan India presence has been the unique feature of the league in the last few editions, and is a true testimony to the manner it has played a critical role in spreading the game to all corners of the country.”
AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said, “Over the years the I-League has been scouting and providing a platform for future stars of Indian Football. In the 13th edition this year we have 11 teams from eight states and one Union Territory fighting for the top honours. I wish luck to all the participating teams.”
Bharatendu Kabi, Head – Corporate Communication, Hero MotoCorp, said, “Hero MotoCorp is globally one of the largest corporate promoters of various disciplines of sports, including Football. In India, Football has been one of our focus sports and we are glad to see the rapidly growing popularity of the game in the country. The Hero I-League has significantly contributed to this growth of the game amongst the youth in various parts of the country. On behalf of everyone at Hero MotoCorp, I heartily welcome TRAU FC to the I-League and wish them and all the other teams, the very best of luck. We look forward to some high-quality Football in the coming months.”
The 11 teams from eight states and one Union Territory in the 13th I-League are – Defending champions Chennai City FC (Chennai), Punjab FC (Punjab), Aizawl FC (Mizoram), NEROCA FC (Manipur), TRAU FC (Manipur), Mohun Bagan & Quess East Bengal FC (West Bengal), Gokulam Kerala FC (Kerala), Churchill Brothers (Goa), Indian Arrows (Goa) and Real Kashmir FC (Kashmir).
The first match will kick off on November 30 between Aizawl FC and Mohun Bagan in Aizawl at 2pm.