The revamped competition returns in a new avatar with broader representation and a focus on preparing young Indian talent for elite football.
With the I-League season already in its final gameweek, the I-League 2nd Division is set to kickoff in less than a fortnight. In the last term, the 2nd Division saw the emergence of NEROCA FC, who are currently fighting it out for the I-League trophy along with other heavyweights. However, with all the changes that have been made the second tier has a completely new look and promises to be more exciting than ever
In this article we talk about the 2nd Division, its sides and tenure this year and all other details you need to know.
The I-League 2nd Division is set to begin on 16th March this year and is scheduled to be played in two different phases. Out of this two phases, the first one will begin on 16th March and will continue till 15th May, while the latter will kick off on May 21 and will finally end on 27th May this year.
The league will comprise of 18 sides from across India, who have been divided into three different groups and will be plying their trade in their respective groups in the preliminary stage. Out of these 18 participants, seven reserve teams of Indian Super League (ISL) sides will also be competing in the tournament. The groups are as following.
What are the phases?
Round Robin format
The first phase of the tournament will be played in a round robin format where six sides in three groups will ply their trade in the preliminary phase of the tournament. Here, the group fixtures will be played in a home/away system.
The sides who will qualify for the final phase of the tournament will battle out for the 2nd Division glory at a central venue, winning which will see the victorious side gaining promotion to the I-League in the next season.
Overseas players allowance
Every club is allowed to register three foreign players for the tournament, among whom one will have to be a citizen of an AFC member nation.