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I-League’s Schedule and New Awards For Next Season Announced

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The I-League 2023-24 season is likely to kick off in the first week of October and the Indian Women’s League could be held from November 18 to March 16, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) said on Thursday.

During a meeting with the clubs, the AIFF discussed the possibility of having the I-League in different formats.

A lengthy discussion was held on the pros and cons of the formats, which the AIFF management took note of. A decision on the same will be taken at a later date.

The I-League clubs were also advised to improve their pitch conditions and have floodlights installed for their matches.

A range of awards were also announced for the I-League – Best Pitch, Best Match Organisation, and Best Media Activities. The winning prize for each category is Rs 2.5 lakh, while that of the runners-up is Rs 1.5 lakh.

The IWL meeting began with the news of Gokulam Kerala FC being allowed to participate in the AFC Women’s Club Championship (Pilot) 2023 after the AIFF requested the Asian body to allow them to participate in the 2023 edition as the winners of the 2022-23 Indian Women’s League.

The introduction of club licensing before the season starts as per AFC norms was also proposed by the AIFF in the meeting in order to meet the AFC requirements, which will come into effect from the 2024-25 season for the AFC Women’s Club Championship.

The 2023-24 women’s football league season will consist of two tiers – the IWL with eight teams playing on a home-and-away basis and a second division, which will comprise the remaining eight teams from the 2022-23 IWL season and the state league winners.

The top two teams of the second division will be promoted to the 2024-25 IWL.

The clubs proposed their home stadiums for the 2023-24 IWL season – Gokulam Kerala FC (EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode), Kickstart FC (Bangalore Football Stadium, Bengaluru), Sethu FC (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai), Sports Odisha (Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar), Odisha FC (Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar), HOPS FC (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi) and East Bengal FC (East Bengal Ground, Kolkata).

“The tentative dates suggested by the AIFF for the Hero IWL 2023-24 season are from November 18, 2023, to March 16, 2024,” the AIFF said in a press release.

AIFF secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran said, “We are working on creating the right impact and value for the Hero I-League and Hero IWL. It is our responsibility to ensure that the league is sustainable for the clubs, and to make it more competitive.”

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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