18 teams to take part; Super Cup details also announced by AIFF

Shillong, Feb 20: Langsning FC are one of 18 teams that will take part in this year’s Second Division League, the feeder competition for the I-League.

The details were released today on the All India Football Federation (AIFF) website. The governing body’s league committee met yesterday in New Delhi to finalise details regarding the Second Division.

The 18 teams have been divided into three groups and the preliminary stage will begin on 16th March and will continue until 15th May on a home and away basis.

Langsning have been grouped with TRAU FC of Manipur, Mohammedan Sporting and the reserve sides of Indian Super League (ISL) teams Bengaluru FC, Jamshedpur FC and Chennaiyin FC.

Another four ISL clubs’ reserve teams will be taking part in the competition, namely Delhi Dynamos FC, Kerala Blasters, FC Goa and FC Pune City.

The winners of each group and the best second-placed team will qualify for the final round. However, if any of the ISL reserve teams finish as winners or runners-up, qualification will pass to the next best non-ISL team. The final round will be played at a central venue from 21st to 27th May.

Each club can register a maximum of three foreign players for the Second Division out of which one has to be a national of an Asian Football Confederation country.

Meanwhile, the committee also decided on the schedule of the inaugural Super Cup, which brings together the teams from the ISL and I-League into one tournament for the first time. The qualifiers will be played between 12th and 31st March, with the final round between 31st March and 22nd April.

Scheduling will have to take into consideration the AFC Cup commitments of Aizawl FC and Bengaluru (that is if they qualify for the Super Cup). The venue for the tournament will either be Cuttack or Kochi, the AIFF said.

No final decision has been made on the number of foreign players to be registered for the Super Cup.

The tournament will be played on a knock-out basis among 16 teams. The top six teams of the I-League and the ISL will be granted direct entry into the round of 16, while the bottom-placed teams from both leagues will take part in a play-off to decide on the remaining four spots.

Second Division teams and groups:

Group A: Real Kashmir, Lonestar Kashmir, Delhi Dynamos FC (reserves), Hindustan FC, Delhi United, FC Pune City (reserves)

Group B: Madhya Bharat SC, FC Goa (reserves), Kerala Blasters (reserves), Ozone FA, Fateh Hyderabad AFC, FC Kerala

Group C: TRAU FC, Langsning FC, Mohammedan Sporting, JSW Bengaluru FC (reserves), Jamshedpur FC (reserves), Chennaiyin FC (reserves)

(TSR file photo)

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