April 20 – Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan will be declared Indian champions if the national federation confirms a recommendation by the I-League committee to cancel the remainder of the season in light of India’s nationwide lockdown.
“The committee recommended that the 2019-20 season be deemed to be concluded. That Mohun Bagan be declared as the Hero I-League champion for the 2019-20 season as they stand atop current standings in the Hero I-League until the point of suspension on March 14, 2020,” wrote the All India Football Federation (AIFF) in a statement.
India became the second country after Belgium to cancel its football season. The decision was a logical one. With 28 matches remaining in the league, Bagan had already clinched the title with no other club having a mathematical chance of catching up.
They topped the league table on 39 points from 16 matches. On March 14, the AIFF suspended the I-League following instructions from the Indian government. All the youth leagues were also suspended.
“Mohun Bagan with 39 points from 16 matches enjoy a point difference which is insurmountable by any other team even if all other matches had been played and concluded as a normal course of action,” said the I-League Committee following a meeting by video conference.
“With regards to the remaining clubs, and noting the concerns expressed by many of them in writing, the League Committee recommended the remaining prize money (apart from the champion’s prize money) be equally divided among the remaining 10 participating clubs.”
The committee also recommended that there should be no relegation. It means that the Indian Arrows, the developmental side of the AIFF, will not be relegated.
The AIFF is expected to rubber-stamp the committee’s decisions.
India extended its nationwide lockdown to May 3. The central government imposed the lockdown on March 25 to combat the spread of the coronavirus. India has 17,615 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with 559 people having passed away after contracting the disease, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1600937205labto1600937205ofdlr1600937205owedi1600937205sni@o1600937205fni1600937205