The tournament is likely to begin in the last week of August and will continue until October.
The Indian Football Association (IFA) announced two groups for the upcoming Calcutta Football League (CFL) 2021-22 season. All 14 clubs have been divided into two groups of seven teams each. East Bengal, whose participation in the CFL looked doubtful, are also part of the groups.
East Bengal and Mohammedan SC are part of Group 1 alongside Bhawanipore Club, Southern Samity, BSS Sporting Club, Railways FC and United Sports Club. ATK Mohun Bagan are in Group 2. The other clubs in the group are Aryan Club, Tollygunj Agragami, ATK Mohun Bagan, George Telegraph, Peerless SC, Kidderpore SC and Calcutta Customs Club.
The next CFL season is likely to begin in late August and will continue till October. After the previous season’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kolkata will host this year’s tournament behind closed doors. The bio-bubble protocols and the start of the Indian Super League season means only a short window is available to conduct the CFL.
Teams in each group will play each other once with the top three then advancing into the quarterfinals. The remaining four teams in each group will then play each other for the final two quarterfinal berths. All eight qualified teams will contest the knockout stages to determine the winners.
Teams can pick only three overseas players in the squad and not more than two foreign players in the starting XI. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no relegation in the Calcutta Football League this season. United SC and Railways FC were the last teams to earn promotion to the Premier Division.
East Bengal are currently in a tussle with their investors Shree Cements over signing the final term agreement. But, they are among the 14 clubs for the next CFL season. ATKMB, meanwhile, will field their reserve team in the CFL.