The Preliminary Round of the 2nd Division I-League for the 2013-14 season kicks off on February 7, 2014.
Twelve teams have been given the provisional clearance to compete under the AIFF 2nd Division I-League Club Licensing Criteria. Out of these twelve clubs, United Sikkim FC will start their journey directly from the final round.
Rest of the eleven teams have been divided into two groups of six and five teams each that will play in two different venues in Gangtok and Dhanbad. The teams from Group A will play their matches in the Railway Stadium, Dhanbad, while the teams from Group B will play in the Paljor Stadium, Gangtok.
The six teams and the five teams from Group A and Group B respectively will play each other once in the Preliminary Round.
The top two teams from each group will join United Sikkim in the Final Round which will be held in April and they will battle against each other twice.
Roma Khanna (Club Licensing Manager, AIFF) told AIFF Media, ”We observed that all the changes enforced this season along with the roll out of the AIFF’s new 2nd Division club licensing criteria, the total number of applicants came down by a third and only the serious contenders for the competition remained in the fray.”
“The quality of the teams chosen gives us hope of not only a better competition but also that the winner of the 2nd Division I-League 2013-14 will have a relatively easier transition into the Airtel I-League for the 2014-15 season.”
The first phase of the final round will be held in Silchar, Assam while the second one will be held in Aizawl, Mizoram.
2nd DIVISION I-LEAGUE – PRELIMINARY ROUND
Garhwal Heroes FC (Delhi), PIFA Colaba FC (Mumbai), Kalighat Milan Sangha (Kolkata), M.P. United FC, Royal Wahingdoh FC (Shillong), Green Valley SC (Guwahati)
Hindustan FC (Delhi), Kenkre FC (Mumbai), Eagles FC (Kerala), Bhowanipore FC (Kolkata), Aizawl FC (Mizoram)
(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)