All the remaining 28 matches of the suspended I-League have been cancelled with runaway leaders Mohun Bagan officially declared champions of 2019-20 season. Also Read - AIFF Approves New Foreigners' Rule in I-League, Says U-17 Women WC Postponement Won't Affect India's Preparation
The decision was announced on Tuesday after the executive committee of All India Football Federation (AIFF) accepted the recommendations of its league committee in wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in nationwide lockdown in the country. Also Read - After Contract Terminations, East Bengal Footballers to Approach AIFF Through Players' Association
I-League was suspended on March 14 before lockdown was announced rendering it impossible to restart the league anytime soon. The original deadline of the restrictions was April 15 which has been extended to May 3 now. Also Read - I'm Lucky to be a Part of This Indian Football Team: Sandesh Jhingan
“The Executive Committee agreed with conclusions and recommendations of League Committee that this was a force majeure circumstance and the AIFF and all stakeholders must focus on a priority basis on safety and health aspects of players, officials and fans,” the AIFF said in a release.
All sporting events in the country have been halted with little to no possibility of resumption in the coming couple of months. “In fact, there is still no certainty of when sporting activities including football can be resumed across the country,” AIFF said.
Among the major decisions is that there will be no relegation and apart from the winner’s cash prize, the rest of the amount will be equally distributed among the remaining 10 teams.
“All youth leagues in the current season — the Hero Sub-Junior League, the Hero Junior League, the Hero Elite League, and the U-17 Khelo India Girls League stay concluded, and will start afresh from 2020-21 season,”the release said.
“There will be an extension of the deadline for submission of the requisite documentation for the AIFF Academy Accreditation process after the ongoing lockdown is revoked,” it added.
The AIFF will also hold talks with the Asian Football Confederation for the possibility of organising a shorter duration tournament next season with second division clubs for qualification to the I-League 2020-21.