Dulal De: After two years of football without spectators, ISL is returning to its glory. It means ISL is returning to Bharti Stadium again. And it is needless to say that the excitement of the Indian Super League will increase several times.
In the Corona Pandemic, footballers used to play in stadiums without spectators, but that life was not there. The only way for fans to support their favorite team was to sit in front of the TV and shout. Two East Bengal-Mohun Bagan derbies have been played without spectators in two years. The footballers played normally. But there was no such enthusiasm anywhere. As a result, not only the footballers, but also the huge Indian football fans have been encouraged by the return of ISL (ISL 2022-23) after two years.
In the last two seasons, the entire ISL has been held in Goa, at one venue. There were no home and away matches to stay in the bio bubble in the Covid situation. Now every team of ISL is getting ready to host home matches in their own way. There is also an away match. The opening match of this year’s ISL is on October 7 in Kochi. East Bengal Club of Kolkata will play against Kerala Blasters. And around that match, I will dress up in Kochi right now. Fans of both teams may have to scramble at the last minute for a ticket to the Kochi stadium for the first match against East Bengal. Because many red-yellow fans from Kolkata have already planned to go to Kochi to be in the opening match.
[আরও পড়ুন: ইংল্যান্ডে ফের নিশানায় হিন্দুরা, মন্দিরের সামনে ‘আল্লাহু আকবর’ হুঙ্কার মৌলবাদীদের]
This season is already longer than last season due to home-away matches. The number of matches is also increasing. Last season ISL started on November 20. It lasted until March. The duration of the Indian Super League is increasing by 6 weeks in this season. Starts October 7. Will continue until March. Only the group league matches will be 110 before the playoffs. Then there are the playoffs. Semifinals, Finals.
The reason for the increase in matches this time is that a total of 6 teams will play in the playoffs. From here four teams will play in the last four. The number of teams in the playoffs may increase every year in the ISL. Fans can watch their team’s matches in greater numbers to advance more teams to the playoffs. Also, despite not doing very well in the league and coming to the 6th position in the league table, there may be a chance to go to the last four if they play well in the playoffs.
But the good news for the fans this time is that, just like the Premier League, the matches will be played only from Thursday to Sunday. This rule will continue during the World Cup in Qatar. ISL will continue at the same pace during the World Cup. However, there will be no separate ceremony around the opening match this time either.