The North-Eastern club will once again ply their trade in the country’s top league…

Aizawl FC will be one of the nine participants in the I-League 2016-17 season after the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Executive Committee decided to reinstate the North-Eastern club back to the top division.

It must be noted that the Reds from Mizoram got relegated from the I-League last season as they finished eighth in the table, a place above the relegation-immune DSK Shivajians.

I-League CEO Sunando Dhar briefed the committee about the I-League which kicks-off on 7 January, 2017. Keeping in mind the heart-warming performance of Aizawl FC in the last edition, the committee unanimously decided to give them a ticket to play in the 2016-17 edition.

Meanwhile, AIFF President Praful Patel confirmed that Dempo SC and Sporting Clube de Goa will be part of the I-League next season and that Aizawl FC isn’t a replacement for Salgaocar FC, who opted out of the competition.

The Mizoram-based club’s heroics against newly crowned I-League champions Bengaluru FC in the quarter final of the Federation Cup has spawned online petitions to have them back in the top flight.

Please don’t relegate Aizawl FC from I-League gathered 2892 Signature online from Indian Football fans .

Sunando Dhar later added, “We have now planned on 9 teams for the time being. But we will give advertisement for another team and if we get a team then it will be a 10-team contest otherwise I-League will be a 9-team affair.”

“Aizawl FC is not replacement for Salgaocar FC. I have been contacted by many parties to set-up teams in the I-League and we will also begin advertising to let people know that we are welcoming teams to the I-League,” said Patel.

Report by Khel Now Correspondent Rony. Sports passionate and content writer. He is big football and cricket fan.