Shillong, Aug 4: Ryntih is one of the 29 clubs that have been nominated by state associations to take part in this year’s I-League Qualifiers, The Times of India reported today.
A maximum of 10 clubs will take part in the I-League Qualifiers, which will be held in Bangalore from September. State associations were able to nominate two clubs to take part.
Many states rushed to hold leagues this summer but Meghalaya was not one of them – football activities are still prohibited on account of high Covid-19 numbers in the state. Ryntih were third in 2019’s Shillong Premier League and have arguably been the most active club in the state since the pandemic struck last year, with the other big sides seemingly disappearing off the radar.
Clubs will also have to be able to meet club licensing criteria, which Ryntih will have some experience of after trying, unsuccessfully, to gain direct entry to the I-League last season.
Ryntih recently returned to training (pictured). All of their players and officials have also been vaccinated against Covid-19. This is key as the All India Football Federation had earlier made it mandatory that all players taking part in AIFF competitions will have to take the Covid-19 vaccine prior to taking the field (except those below 18 years of age or who are recovering from the coronavirus and are thus not eligible to get the vaccine).
All in all, Ryntih have a good case for being granted one of the 10 spots in the Qualifiers, with the only apparent weakness being the fact that no league was held in Meghalaya this year, which is understandable given the high occurrence of Covid-19 in the state. Let’s see what happens…