National team head coach Igor Stimac unveiled the coveted trophy at the launch event for the new season.
The much-awaited 2019-20 season of the I-League – the official second-tier of Indian football, is knocking on the door! In light of the same, the General Secretary of AIFF, Kushal Das and the CEO of I-League, Sunando Dhar, along with the other dignitaries, launched the 13th season of the I-League at a mega event on 30th November in New Delhi.
“It has always been an endeavour of the AIFF to spread the league pan-India and I’m happy with the success achieved so far. I, therefore, would like to welcome TRAU FC as the new member for this edition of the I-League,” said Das.
“I would also like to thank DSport and InStat for their support. I believe that with the participation of InStat, the production costs of the league will be brought down,” he added.
Adding to his stance, Sunando Dhar also spoke about another successful season of the I-League, citing examples from the previous campaign. “The Imphal Derby between NEROCA FC and TRAU will be an exciting new fixture to watch out for this season. It’s always great to see teams from the second division rising up into the top tier and Real Kashmir, NEROCA and now TRAU have all been examples of it.”
Further, as the event progressed, players from each team appeared on stage and had a short interaction as well. “I’m still living in the dream of becoming the champions of the league,” began Chennai City FC’s Ajith Kumar. His teammate and last season’s top scorer, Pedro Manzi too was optimistic of defending the title.
Quess East Bengal’s Lalrindika Ralte also spoke on behalf of his team saying, “The club will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year and it would be the best gift if we win the title this season.”
On the other hand, Mohun Bagan’s new signing, Joseba Beitia was quoted as stating, “This is my first time to play outside Spain and it’s a privilege to represent a club like Bagan. I’m glad to be in Kolkata.”
Finally, as the player interactions concluded, a surprise guest at the event Igor Stimac, unveiled the trophy for the new season. The Indian football team head coach faced a barrage of questions from the media post the unveiling.
Jainendra Narayan from title sponsor Hero MotoCorp and Ranjit Bajaj owner of Punjab FC, were also amongst the notable dignitaries in attendance at the event.