The AIFF is also planning to shift the mini-tournament to the iconic Salt Lake Stadium.
The 2nd Division League mini-tournament is all set to begin in the month of October and teams have been requested to report to Kolkata latest by 26th of September, Khel Now can confirm. The teams have also been asked to observe a mandatory two-week quarantine period upon arrival. A source close to the developments stated, “The teams and players have been asked to report by September 26th so that they could complete the two-week quarantine before the tournament begins.”
However, Khel Now has learnt that some teams will travel early, so that they can get accustomed to the conditions and have some practice sessions in the city before the tournament starts. The AIFF is also planning to move the mini-tournament to the iconic Salt Lake Stadium instead of Kalyani Stadium. One of the reasons for shifting the tournament is to ease operations at ground level. The tournament will consist of five teams, which includes Mohammedan Sporting Club, Bhowanipore FC (Kolkata), Garhwal FC (Delhi), ARA FC (Ahmedabad) and FC Bengaluru United.
Earlier, the AIFF had scheduled an eight-team tournament, as the previous edition was paused midway through because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, FC Kerala, AU Rajasthan FC and Lonestar Kashmir pulled out, which was exclusively revealed by Khel Now a month ago.
Ever since the lockdown restrictions were softened, teams have started bolstering their squads and have also begun practice in their respective cities ahead of the tournament. The tournament is set to become the first official sporting event in the country after the outbreak of the pandemic and the winner of the competition will qualify for the I-League 2020-21 season. Its sure to be a tough fight between the five teams competing for the coveted I-League spot.