I-League kicks off with East Bengal vs Chirag United on Sept 26

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Mumbai, Sep 15 (UNI) The second edition of the I-League will commence on September 26 with East Bengal taking on debutants Chirag United at Barasat Stadium and Sporting Clube de Goa meeting Vasco in Goa.

Meanwhile, defending champions Dempo will kick off their campaign on September 28 against JCT, Phagwara, five days after their second leg AFC Cup quarter-final match against Home United of Singapore.

The fixtures were announced by the All India Football Federation today. The schedule for the first nine rounds has been decided but the fixtures for the last two rounds of the first leg will be announced after finalising an opponent for a friendly match for the national team.

The AIFF has also kept provisions to change the dates of Dempo's matches depending on their progress in the AFC Cup. The I-League derby clash between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in the first phase will be held on October 25 at Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium.

Meanwhile, the AIFF is yet to name the venues for the matches to be held in Mumbai with the Cooperage and D Y Patil Stadium in a bit of trouble. The I-League Committee will meet later this month to finalise the venues for the Mumbai matches.

However, Western India Football Association (WIFA) assistant secretary Wali Mohammad said the Cooperage, will host home matches of the three Mumbai-based I-League clubs, which will be played without floodlights.

Meanwhile, The D Y Patil Stadium will also host two of the matches during the league, probably on November 8 and 9. Vijay Patil, chairman of the Navi Mumbai-based sports complex met WIFA officials and representatives from Air-India and Mumbai FC on Friday and was granted permission to this effect.

Mr Patil will not be take ground charges from WIFA as a gesture of goodwill. He, however, said that WIFA has to pay for the security measures, floodlights and cleanliness etc. They also have to get permission from local police for the same.

Wali Mohammad said that he has sent the report to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and is expecting a response from the body soon.

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