The uncertainty around SC East Bengal’s participation delayed the announcement initially.
The eighth edition of the Indian Super League is set to begin on November 19, Khel Now can confirm. While the ISL 2021-22 schedule is not out yet, the opening clash will be between last season’s runners-up ATK Mohun Bagan and Kerala Blasters. The game will be held at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa.
The heart of the matter
“Like last season, ISL 2021-22 will begin with an ATK Mohun Bagan-Kerala Blasters match. FSDL is likely to announce the complete schedule of the league early next week,” sources close to the development informed Khel Now.
We have also learned that FSDL (Football Sports Development Limited) initially targeted the last week of August to announce the fixtures – a good three months in advance. However, they had to postpone this due to the uncertainty around SC East Bengal’s participation.
“The Shree Cement – East Bengal situation carried on for longer than we expected. The long-drawn uncertainty regarding their participation and the delayed resolution of their problems resulted in FSDL postponing the announcement of the ISL 2021-22 schedule,” sources told Khel Now.
Now that SC East Bengal have confirmed that they will be a part of the season, fans can expect the announcement soon.
About ISL 2020-21 and the next season
The Indian Super League (ISL) was the first sports league to be successfully conducted in India last season. The league took place in a bio-bubble due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ISL 2020-21 was a five months long league, beginning on November 20, 2020 and concluding on March 13, 2021. The entire league was held across three venues in the state of Goa, following all COVID-19-related SOP.
And now, FSDL has once again gone back to Goa to conduct the upcoming 2021-22 season of the ISL. The organization will conduct the league in conditions similar to last season – in a bio-bubble to prevent any trouble caused by COVID-19.
The table-toppers at the end of the league stage will advance to the AFC Champions League (ACL) 2023 Group Stage. Last season’s winners Mumbai City will play in ACL 2022 Group Stage as they were also the table-toppers at the end of the league stage.
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