The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Saturday decided to formally call off the I-League and declared Mohun Bagan the champion. There were 23 matches still to be played when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. With the lockdown in the country extended till May 3, the AIFF League committee convened its members through a video conference.
Bagan had assured itself of the title, taking an unassailable lead (39 points from 19 games), before the league was suspended on March 14.
As for the other 10 clubs, the league committee recommended that the remaining prize-money (apart from the champion’s) be equally divided among them. The committee also recommended that there be no relegation in the 2019-20 season. The league committee’s decisions have to be ratified by the AIFF executive committee.
The other decisions taken were: 1. For the second division league, the committee decided to wait for the approval of the executive committee and the Asian Football Confederation to have a tournament of shorter duration next season. The teams that will qualify for the Hero I-League 2020-21 season will be decided based on that.
2. With nearly 500 matches yet to be completed in various youth leagues, the committee decided to conclude all youth leagues — the sub-junior league, the junior league, the Elite league and the under-17 Khelo India girls’ league — for the current season. The leagues will start afresh from the next one (2020-21).
3. Extension of deadline for AIFF Academy Accreditation recommended.