Indian Arrows return to I-League fold

Indian Arrows return to I-League fold

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) named its development side Indian Arrows, going back to the old moniker it used for its previous youth team that was disbanded in 2013.

The AIFF mentioned the side as Indian Arrows in the I-League fixtures issued on Tuesday. The upcoming I-League will kick-off with Minerva FC hosting Mohun Bagan in Ludhiana on November 25.

A bit of focus will be on the side that will comprise the best talent from the team that competed in the FIFA U-17 World Cup and the under-19 team.

The development side will have its home ground in New Delhi. The idea is to keep the boys together to make the cut for U-20 World Cup in 2019, for which India has submitted a bid application. The move, which was approved by AIFF's technical committee, is on the lines of the Pailan Arrows project which was disbanded four years ago.

The team's home ground could be either Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium or Ambedkar Stadium.

Shillong Lajong FC will play host to new outfit Gokulam FC on November 27 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

While Mohun Bagan will be in action on the opening day at the Guru Nanak Stadium, their traditional rivals East Bengal will begin their campaign on November 28 against defending champions Aizawl FC.

Indian Arrows will play their first match against Chennai City FC and then take on Minerva Punjab FC, but the dates and and venues for the development side's matches have not been finalised yet owing to the players' international commitments.

However, the scheduling of the league has  irked certain sections of the footballing  community after the fixture list stated that the matches will begin at 2:00 Pm, 5:30 PM and 8:00 PM on match days.

Former skipper Bhaichung Bhutia was very vocal of his opinion as it stated that it was a shame that the I-League was treated in a poor manner. "What a shame. I-league deserves much better. Both leagues (I-League and ISL) should survive and do well but not by killing each other," he wrote on his Twitter handle.    

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