The 11th edition of Hero I-League – India’s top football league, was officially launched at a glittering ceremony here today. This marks the beginning of yet another scintillating season of enthralling league football in the country. The Hero I-League kicks off on November 25, 2017 and culminates on March 6, 2018.
The Hero I-League is set to provide more excitement and inspiring action this year with the addition of three new teams from three different states. The three new additions are – Gokulam Kerala FC from Calicut, Neroca FC from Imphal, Manipur and Indian Arrows from Delhi. 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 their head coach. The team is a mix of India U-17 and India U-19 team players.
“This year is all about showcasing what the Hero I-League has been doing for years. Launching Indian football’s future stars. History is testimony that the Hero 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. I would like to convey my best wishes to all the participating clubs of this year’s edition,” said Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary, All India Football Federation.
The 10 teams from 8 states of the 11th Hero I-League are – Defending Champions Aizawl FC (Mizoram), Neroca FC (Manipur), ShillongLajong FC (Meghalaya), Mohun Bagan AC &Kingfihser East Bengal (West Bengal), Minerva Punjab (Punjab), Gokulam Kerala FC (Kerala), Churchill Brothers FC Goa (Goa), Indian Arrows (Delhi), Chennai City FC (Chennai).
The first match will kick off on November 25, 2017, between Minerva Punjab and Mohun Bagan in Ludhiana at 17:30 hrs.