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ISL all set to start this Friday

Sirish N. 17th November 2020

11 teams to go head-on for this year's India super league. (Source: The Hindu)

The Indian Super League (ISL) 2020 is set to start on November 20th, with ATK Mohun Bagan taking on Kerala Blasters in the opener in Goa.

Most of the homegrown players have shown up in Goa for the upcoming ISL, which will probably be played completely on three grounds under severe Covid-19 conventions. This current season's ISL, to be played among 11 clubs, will be held in—Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Margao; GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim; and Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco.

A few players will be hoping to make their essence felt this season, such as Roy Krishna, who had a marvellous season for ATK a year ago, where he scored 15 objectives and enlisted six helps to assist them with winning their third ISL crown. The 34-year-old veteran Danny Fox led the defensive line for East Bengal last season.

Last season's golden boot champ, Valskis, joined Jamshedpur FC following Owen Coyle, his director at Chennaiyin, a year ago. The Lithuanian hit the ground pursuing scoring 15 objectives in his first season, other than giving six assists.

While Mohun Bagan entered the league by entering into a merger deal with ATK that resulted in the new entity ATK Mohun Bagan, East Bengal roped in Shree Cement Limited as their speculator to encourage their entrance into the class.

East Bengal plays their first ISL on November 27 against their arch-rivals ATK Mohun Bagan. Most ISL groups have begun playing pre-season matches against one another to hone their claws ahead of the new season. With the teams inside a secure bio-bubble in Goa, La Liga officials uncovered that discussions were going on with Spanish clubs concerning their association in Indian football, energized by the gigantic Spanish impact among the Indian Super League (ISL) clubs. On Monday, East Bengal said they have applied for club permitting exclusion for the 2020-21 season.

East Bengal is one of the newcomers to ISL this season, alongside Odisha FC, NorthEast United FC, Kerala Blasters, and Hyderabad FC. Every one of these clubs has failed to meet the AFC licensing criteria and will now have to choose between either appeal against the decision or seek exemption from the AIFF to participate in the league starting on Friday.

(Sources: The Times of India, Goal, The Indian Express)

Edited by: Tanya Jain, Anjali Dinesh

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