As the nation grips into the Indian Super League (ISL) 2017 fever following the hysteria for the just-concluded FIFA U-17 World Cup, let's not forget that the premier football league of the country, gets under way at the same time.
The I-League 2017-18 schedule is finally released by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Tuesday November 14. The tournament begins on November 25.
One of the first things football fans look out for whenever the I-League fixtures are released, are the dates of the Kolkata derby double-headers -- featuring Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
As per the release, the Indian football governing body have stated that the two most important matches of the I-League 2017-18 season are set to take place at the Salt Lake Stadium Kolkata.
We don't really know if the venue could see a change in the last minute, but if the venue indeed remains the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan, there cannot be a better news for football fans in Kolkata.
The Kolkata Derby in the I-League took place at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri last season.
The dates that matter:
1st leg: Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal - December 3
Time: 2 pm IST
2nd leg: East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan - January 13
Time: 5:30 pm IST
Scheduled venue for both matches: Salt Lake Stadium Kolkata
ISL side ATK, who also play their home matches in the venue, do not have any games scheduled at that period. They take on FC Pune City on November 26 and then take on Delhi Dynamos in their following home match on December 23.
Football aficionados in India have constantly debated and discussed over the motion 'I-League vs ISL'.
The verdict in most occasions have turned out to be this: Yes, the Indian Super League has done plenty for the promotion of the beautiful game in the country, but it is I-League, who has shaped up all the star Indian footballers who are able to turn attention today in the ISL.
The Indian Super League can, therefore, forever remain indebted to the I-League.