Kolkata and Goa emerge as Covid-19 safe football hubs

Indian Super League team scarves prior to an AFC Asian Cup match between India and Bahrain on January 14, 2019 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Indian football’s I-League is set to follow the top tier Indian Super League in playing its next season in one location.

The 2020-21 season of the I-League is expected be held solely in Kolkata, according to the All India Football Federation general secretary Kushal Das, The Hindu reports.

Citing travel restrictions as a key factor in the decision Das said: “The I-League will also most probably be completed in one city, logically it appears the only city where we can do it is in Kolkata.”

Last week, the state of Goa emerged as the favoured destination to host the postponed ISL season, which is to run from November to March, behind closed doors.

According to Das, a final decision will be made before the end of July but he ruled out the state of Kerala saying “it does not have enough stadiums”.

In related news the merger between the I-League’s Mohun Bagan and the ISL’s ATK, has been completed. The new club is to be known as ATK Mohun Bagan FC.

It was reported in January that the clubs’ intention to enter into a merger would help Mohun Bagan enter the ISL from the 2020-21 season.

The new club was scheduled to come into existence on June 1, 2020, but the deal was postponed due to the Covid-19 lockdown in the country.