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I-League to resume on March 3

The I-League that was suspended, in the first week of January after a COVID-19 outbreak, will resume in Kolkata on March 3.

The league said in a press release that the bio-bubble will reopen on February 20 with players and officials needing to travel with three negative RT-PCR tests before entering.

Kozhikode-based Gokulam Kerala FC is the sole representative from Kerala in the league. Gokulam are the reigning I-League champions.

“Additionally, on the advice of Dr. Harsh Mahajan, Member of AIFF’s Sports Medical Committee, every players is also required to do a 12 lead ECG before arrival,” the All India Football Federation said.

“Once inside the bio-bubble, each individual needs to serve 7 days in quarantine, with three more tests being done.

“On receiving three negative RT-PCR tests in quarantine, the players and officials will be free to operate from within the bubble and attend training sessions, meals, team meetings, and matches.”

AIFF Leagues CEO Sunando Dhar said that he was in touch with all the clubs and “they have all expressed their excitement, and are looking forward to the restart”.

The league informed that there will be no change in format with the 13 teams to play against each other once in a round-robin format, in the first round.

Once the first round is over, the teams will be divided into two groups – Group A will consist of the top seven teams that will fight for the championship title, while Group B will consist of the bottom six teams that will be embroiled in a relegation battle. Each club will play their opponents in their respective groups once in a round-robin format, in the second round.

The matches will be played across three venues – Kalyani Municipal Stadium, Naihati Stadium, and the Mohun Bagan Ground.

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