New Delhi: The title race this season has been swinging like a pendulum and to ensure that the top four teams, all of whom still remain the contention for league title play with freedom and also to keep the league’s unpredictability intact the All India Football Federation (AIFF) have now shifted Mohun Bagan’s match against Gokulam Kerala to March 8.
It means as many as three matches will be played on the said date, all of which will be title deciding battles (Minerva Punjab vs Churchill Brothers, East Bengal vs Neroca FC and Bagan vs Gokulam).
The match will kick off at 3:00 p.m. and will be held at Kozhikode, simultaneously with the other two matches all scheduled on the same day.
“We needed to ensure that all teams who are in the fray for the coveted Hero I-League title get a fair chance to have a go at the title,” I-League said CEO Mr. Sunando Dhar. “We try and see that no team gets an undue advantage and hence, we felt best to postpone the match for the final day.”
Despite just three games remainung into the season, a virtual winner is yet to decided and though Minerva Punjab are currently in the driver’s seat — a win should be enough for them — Neroca, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan all still stand a chance to clinch the title.
Just as interesting is the battle in the bottom half as it is in the top end and both Churchill Brothers and Chennai City are fighting relegation, although the latter have finished their campaign. Also that both Gokulam and Indian Arrows are exempted from facing the heat have put more pressure on the other two to survive.
“It’s now a common trend for the Hero I-League to go down the wire with the title being decided on the final day. It speaks volume about the competitiveness in the League,” added Dhar. The last covered have all seen the I-League ho into the final day to decide an eventually decider.
However, with the match having been to be rescheduled at the last moment, the host broadcaster may not be able to telecast the match (between GKFC and Mohun Bagan) live. However, efforts are on to live stream the same.