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AIFF Receives Five Bids For Direct Entry In I-League

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The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Tuesday announced receiving five proposals for direct entry in the upcoming I-League 2023-24 season. The five bids are as follows 
1) YMS Finance (Varanasi)
2) Namdhari Seeds (Punjab)
3) Nimida United (Bengaluru)
4) Concatenate AA (Delhi)
5) Bunkerhill (Gurugram)

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced receiving five proposals for direct entry in the upcoming I-League 2023-24 season, while adding that the Indian Women’s League (IWL) will be an eight-team affair in the coming edition.

The AIFF said in a release that YMS Finance Pvt Ltd from Kolkata, Namdhari Seeds Pvt Ltd from Punjab, Nimida United Sports Development Pvt Ltd from Bengaluru, Concatenate Advest Advisory Pvt Ltd from Delhi and Bunkerhill Pvt Ltd from Gurugram were the five entities which have sent in their proposals for direct entry.

“Tier 1 bids came from cities like Delhi, Gurugram and Bengaluru, Tier 2 bids from Varanasi and Tier 3 from Sri Bhaini Sahib village. The bids will be accessed and reviewed by financial experts to decide on which team(s) will participate in the I-League 2023-24 season,” the release said.

The league committee decided to have the IWL 2023-24 as an eight-team event, consisting of top-four teams from each of the two groups of the 2022-23 season.

AIFF explained, “A 2nd Division will be introduced and the state champions will compete in the same. The top two teams from the 2nd Division will qualify for the IWL 2024-25 and two teams from 2023-24 will be relegated. The nomination date for the 2nd Division will be confirmed by the committee later.”

The men’s 2nd Division League 2023-24 will comprise of eight teams — three from the last season who could not secure promotion from the final round, two I-League relegated teams and three from the 3rd Division — to make a total of eight teams.

The league committee of the football governing body met via video conferencing on Tuesday. The meeting was chaired by Lalnghinglova Hmar and was attended by secretary-general Shaji Prabhakaran, committee members M Satyanarayan, Arif Ali, Kiran Chougule, Amit Chaudhuri, Caetano Fernandes, Reginold Varghese and CTO Vincent Subramaniam.

Prabhakaran said, “There is an encouraging environment for more clubs to be part of the I-League. The 2nd Division League was very competitive last season. I’m sure the two promoted clubs Delhi FC and Shillong Lajong will add a lot of value to the league.”

“We will have a better and improved structure for the IWL this season, more games in youth competitions and hope to welcome more new teams in the I-League,” he added.

The AIFF added, “3rd Division is set to be introduced, which will serve as a platform for state champions and nominated teams by the state. No ISL reserve team will be a part of the 2nd Division League or 3rd Division League 2023-24. The last date of nomination of teams for 3rd Division is 30th July 2023.”

The league committee also approved new formats. While the U-13 league will be played in a 7v7 format, the U-15 league will be played as 9v9.

“(The) states will need to finish the state leagues by October and the national leagues will begin by November,” it added.