The 11th edition of I-League - India's top football league, was officially launched at a glittering ceremony in New Delhi on Tuesday November 21. The tournament kicks off on November 25, 2017 and culminates on March 6, 2018.
The I-League is set to provide more excitement and inspiring action this year with the addition of four new teams from four different states. Gokulam Kerala FC from Calicut, Chennai City FC from Tamil Nadu, Neroca FC from Imphal, Manipur and Indian Arrows from Delhi, make their debut.
With their individual football cultures and heritage, these teams will significantly enhance the reach of the league in the country.
The 11th edition will also be rewarding for the players with significant prize money at stake for the top teams - Winners (Rs 1 Crore), Runners-Up (Rs 60 Lakh), Third Place (Rs 40 Lakhs) and Fourth Place (Rs 25 Lakhs).
This edition will witness the country's elite football league returning to the national capital, with the AIFF developmental team, Indian Arrows, making a comeback. The India U-17 team head coach Luis Norton De Matos of Portugal would be the head coach and the team is a mix of India U-17 and India U-19 team players.
"This year is all about showcasing what the I-League has been doing for years. Launching Indian football's future stars," mentioned All India Football Federation (AIFF) General-Secretary Kushal Das at the event.
"History is testimony that the I-League has laid the foundation for Indian football stars to go ahead and shine in their careers and make the country proud. The edition also pays special tribute to the coaches who create those stars with their dedication and commitment towards the beautiful game.
"We are happy to welcome Kerala back in the league and the return of I-League football to Delhi. I believe these new developments along with the clubs from Northeast, West Bengal, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Goa will make the league even more competitive and interesting," Das added.
I-League 2017-18 kicks off on November 25, 2017, between Minerva Punjab and Mohun Bagan in Ludhiana at 5:30 pm IST.