I-League second division to be played in new format

New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) The 2015-16 edition of the second division I-League will be played in a “Conference” system with teams being divided into Eastern and Western Conferences and matches played in a home and away basis, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced on Monday.

The top three teams from each Conference will qualify for the final round. These changes were approved by the I-League core committee which met here, an AIFF statement said.

A list of 11 clubs was tentatively adopted to play in the second division, subject to fulfilment of the club licensing criteria, as laid down by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

The tentative list includes LoneStar Kashmir FC, Guwahati FC, Mohammaden Sporting Club, DSK Shivajians FC, PIFA Sports, Kenkre Sports, Dempo SC, NEROCA FC, Fateh Hyderabad FC, Gangtok Himalayan SC and Minerva FAC.

The committee also approved a qualifying round for the 2016-17 second division league with top two teams of each state, excluding clubs in the 2015-16 I-League first and second divisions eligible to participate in the qualifiers.

The qualifiers will act as a feeder system to the 2016-17 edition of the second division league, the statement added.

The 2015-16 Under-15 and Under-18 leagues will have more than 25 teams participating in them. The leagues will kick-off in four zones across the country from October this year and will adhere to the recommendations of the medical committee of the AIFF while registering players to curb age fraud.