What's next for Indian football?
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
The top two leagues may have ended but regional competitions are swinging into gear.
The Indian football season officially came to an end with the wrap-up of the Indian Super League (ISL), but there is still a lot to look forward to fans all over the country. While the I-League and the ISL might still be months away, but some of the state and city leagues are all set to kick-off in the coming months to provide entertainment for those who just can not live without football.
The 120th edition of the Calcutta Football League (CFL), which will feature the likes of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal is all set to kick-off in mid-July. The new season will begin after the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup and we could see the first match happen as soon as 19th July. The competition will run through the month and end before the I-League kicks off so that it's appropriate enough for Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. The Mariners have already started their pre-season preparations as they look to break East Bengal's dominance in the CFL and begin their campaign brightly.
The Mizoram Premier League (MPL) is also set to kick-off after the World Cup, but it'll probably take place around late August or early September. The seventh season of the MPL will be as exciting as ever, with Gift Raikhan's Aizawl FC expected to participate in it as well. This will be good preparation for the former I-League champions, who have faced stiff competition in the STATE LEAGUE over the past few years.
The Mizoram Premier League has brought up many talents
The former I-League champions were upset in the final of the MPL last season, where they were defeated by Chhinga Veng FC. The MPL will definitely be packed with some exciting talents this season and Mizoram's impressiVE outing in the Santosh Trophy earlier this year proved to how well the state's football is developing.
The Goa Professional League (GPL) is also set to kick-off in late August or in early September and the fans in the state will have to wait a bit because of the Goa State Division elections. Churchill Brothers, who announced a host of impressive signings, will be looking to regain the title they are yet to win since 2008.
The GPL has been an entertaining source of football for years now and will the teams bulking up on quality players, the upcoming season will be better than ever.
The latest season of the Kerala Premier League (KPL) ended a few weeks ago, so one can expect the new one to start in a few months. It'll probably take till next year for the KPL to kick-off and with reigning champions Gokulam Kerala adding to their arsenal, it'll be difficult for the other teams to thwart this new dominant force in the league. The KPL is also full of impressive, unearthed gems and Kerala's footballing development was proved when they won the Santosh Trophy earlier this year.
The Chennai Senior Division is also expected to kick-off later this year, with Chennai City being the major drawing point of the league. City haVE already brought together an impressive squad of players for next season and will hope to dominate the Senior Division with their amazing talent pool.
Along with this, the Indian Super League and I-League are both expected to kick-off sometime around September or October. There will be no merger going through this year either, which means that we will be simultaneously watching both the leagues like last season. Indian football might have received a boost in fans thanks to Sunil Chhetri's recent heroics, but everyone needs to watch these competitions in order to discover how exciting the domestic game can really be.
Disclaimer: This article does not contain all upcoming football leagues or tournaments in India.
Published: Thu Jun 14, 2018 02:58 PM IST