Shillong, Oct 5: The 2018-19 season of the I-League will begin on 26th October, that is exactly three weeks from now, with Chennai City taking on Indian Arrows in Coimbatore.
Some of the first few fixtures were revealed by Goal.com this evening. Shillong Lajong will play their opening contest at home against 2016-17 champions Aizawl FC on 28th October at 5PM.
Earlier in the day NEROCA put up a post on Instagram that suggested that the league will begin on 26th October and will feature 11 teams – the 10 from last season and Real Kashmir, who won the Second Division League earlier this year.
Goal.com also reported that Churchill Brothers have avoided relegation after making an appeal to the AIFF.
Churchill didn’t finish at the bottom of the points table last season. Indian Arrows did but because the AIFF development team were not subject to relegation Churchill should have been dropped.
However, their appeal to remain seems to have been based on two points – they are the only remaining club in the I-League from Goa and Aizawl FC had received a reprieve after the 2015-16 season in a similar position, ie, second from bottom ahead of a team that were not subject to relegation.
Meanwhile, it’s all been very quiet from Shillong Lajong as they prepare for their ninth season in the I-League.
It’s very much in contrast to last year when Lajong announced all six of their foreign signings at the end of August for the season that began at the end of November.
SLFC have fielded several new North East faces in the ongoing Shillong Premier League, where they are currently placed second, but they’ve lost Redeem Tlang to Indian Super League side NorthEast United FC, while Hardycliff Nongbri hasn’t been seen in action for Lajong in the SPL since early August.
(TSR file photo)