The 12th edition of Hero I-League – India’s top football league, was officially launched at a glittering ceremony in the nation’s capital on Tuesday.
The premier football league of the country that kicks off on October 26, 2018, will see 11 teams battling it out for the top honours over a period of six months. This season, fans will witness for the first time top-flight football entering the valley state of Jammu & Kashmir with Real Kashmir FC making its much-awaited debut. Real Kashmir FC was recently promoted to the Hero I-league after a stupendous run and title win in the second division league last season.
The Hero I-League, the country’s premier football league boasts of a larger presence this year with teams representing all parts of the country viz; North, South, East & West.
A total of 11 teams covering 10 states would be seen battling it out for the top honours of the country’s premier football league.
The Hero I-League this year will be broadcast LIVE & Exclusive on the Star Sports Network and their digital platform Hotstar along with Jio TV. The 12th 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).
“We are very happy to welcome Real Kashmir FC to the league. The pan Indian presence of the League has been its unique feature in the last few editions. Furthermore, with the valley state entering top-flight football this season, the Hero I-League yet again stands true testimony to how it has played a critical role in spreading the game to all corners of the country,” said Mr. Praful Patel, President, All India Football Federation.
“The Hero I-League has been scouting and nurturing current and future stars of Indian Football over the years. This year we have 11 teams from 10 states fighting for the top honours in the 12th edition. I wish luck to all the participating teams,” Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary, All India Football Federation stated.
Commenting on the occasion Mr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, MD and CEO Hero MotoCorp said, “Hero is today one of the largest corporate promoters of sports, particularly football. Hero MotoCorp is the Title Sponsor of all the domestic football leagues in the country, in addition to being the Sponsor of the Indian football teams for both men and women across age groups. This is in keeping with our commitment to play the role of a catalyst in growing the game of football. I welcome the Real Kashmir FC team to the Hero I-league this year and look forward to seeing some high-quality football from all the participating clubs.”
The 11 teams from 10 states of the 12th Hero I-League are defending champions Minerva Punjab FC (Punjab), Aizawl FC (Mizoram), NEROCA FC (Manipur), Shillong Lajong FC (Meghalaya), Mohun Bagan AC (West Bengal), Quess East Bengal FC (West Bengal), Gokulam Kerala FC (Kerala), Churchill Brothers FC Goa (Goa), Indian Arrows, Chennai City FC (Tamil Nadu), Real Kashmir FC (Jammu & Kashmir).
The first match will kick off on October 26, 2018 between Chennai City FC and Indian Arrows at Coimbatore from 17:00 hrs onwards.